Karachi Kings seek much-needed win against table toppers Quetta Gladiators
Karachi Kings seek a much needed win against table-toppers Quetta Gladiators on Sunday to boost their chances of reaching the play-off stages of the Pakistan Super League 2019.
Karachi Kings can go on to finish as one of the top two teams, if they also beat Peshawar Zalmi and better their net run-rate.
Karachi would be hoping that their key player Colin Munro, regarded as one of the most destructive hitters in T20 cricket regains his touch in the big game. Munro hasn’t fired in the tournament and so far contributed just 33 runs at 6.60 with a highest of 15.
Besides Munro, Babar Azam also needs to return to his best as he has managed just 11 and 19 in the last two matches.
Karachi has historically struggled against both Quetta and Peshawar – their opponents in the next two matches – having lost five games in seven with just two wins against Sarfraz Ahmed's Gladiators.
However, they turned the tables against Quetta in this year's event on the back of a blistering 127 not out by Colin Ingram during their successful chase of a 187-run target in Sharjah.
Quetta are also boosted by the presence of former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson who agreed to tour Karachi after turning down the offer in the last two years. He currently leads the batting chart of the event with 332 including three fifties and a phenomenal strike rate of 141.27.
‘Watson’s arrival big boost’
Quetta's coach Moin Khan admitted Watson's arrival is a big boost.
"Naturally the top players have an importance and that gives us an additional boost," said Moin, a member of Pakistan's World Cup winning team in 1992.
"Naturally it's good for the team and for every individual it's a great opportunity and sense of security that Shane Watson is also there. But at the same time it’s a team game and it doesn't depend on individuals."
Quetta's bowling, led by the ever-green Sohail Tanvir is one of the best. Tanvir is second on the table with 14 wickets, four short of leader Peshawar's Hasan Ali. While their spinners Mohammad Nawaz (ten) and Fawad Ahmed (nine) add another dimension to their bowling attack.
Quetta's rookie fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain will have his tail up after he was selected in the Pakistan’s squad to face Australia in the five ODIs starting March 22.
Karachi will also hope that their pace attack of Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari, Sohail Khan and Aaron Summers get them wickets. Shinwari returned to his best in the last match, claiming four wickets.
Monday will see Lahore Qalandars meeting Multan Sultans while Karachi will face Peshawar Zalmi.