Karachi Kings vs Lahore Qalandars PSL 2021, 27th match
Lahore Qalandars will be desperate to seal their place in the playoffs when they take on Defending Champions Karachi Kings in the 27th PSL match at Abu Dhabi.
Defending Champions have struggled to deliver as a unit so far this season. The bowling unit has struggled to make breakthroughs in the Powerplay overs. The team management will be looking for some changes for this fixture.
On the other hand, Lahore Qalandars will be looking to seal their place in the playoffs of the competition. Qalandars will be looking to sort their problems and put in an improved performance in this contest.
Earlier this year, Lahore Qalandars registered a comfortable six-wicket win, courtesy of splendid performances from Shaheen Afridi, Ben Dunk and Fakhar Zaman.
The bowling unit looked one-dimensional as they failed to defend a competitive score of 190 runs against Islamabad United. After showing decent form in the initial round-robin matches, Arshad Iqbal has struggled to make an impact with the ball for Kings.
Thisara Perera has conceded a lot of runs in the previous game and might be replaced by Aamir Yamen for this game. Mohammad Ilyas might come in place of Arshad Iqbal, who has not well in the second phase of PSL.
The big positive from the previous game was Afghanistan batsman Najibullah Zadran finding form with the bat and producing a splendid half-century.
For this game, the onus will be on in-form opener Babar Azam will be looking to lead the batting efforts for Karachi Kings. The 26-year old continued his imperious form with the bat and smashed 81 runs off 54 runs to help the side post a competitive score on the board.
Besides Babar Azam, the likes of Martin Guptill, Sharjeel Khan and Najibullah Zadran have put in decent contributions with the bat.
In the bowling department, the side will be relying on left-arm spinner Imad Wasim, pacers Mohammad Amir and Waqas Maqsood to provide timely breakthroughs.
Head Coach Aqib Javed will be hoping that the side can make significant improvements with bat and ball in this crucial fixture.
In the batting department, the side will be relying on in-form opener Fakhar Zaman, wicket-keeper batsman Ben Dunk and captain Sohail Akhtar to deliver notable scores in this contest.
Fakhar Zaman is currently the franchise’s leading run-getter in the competition. Left-hander has scored 243 runs in seven innings at a strike rate of 129.94 with two half-centuries.
Besides Fakhar, skipper Sohail Akhtar has shown decent form for Qalandars as a makeshift opener. He will be looking to put in another crucial score against Karachi Kings.
The form of Mohammad Hafeez will be a concern as the veteran hasn’t been able to get decent runs in this second phase of PSL. The 40-year old will need to dig deep and eke out a crucial score against Karachi.
In the bowling department, the side will be relying on the pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi, James Faulkner and spinner Rashid Khan to deliver crucial wickets in this contest.
The wicket prepared for the game at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi will certainly favor the batsmen due to dew factor playing a significant role in the day-night matches. The bowlers will have to put the ball in the right areas to get their due rewards on this pitch. The weather forecast for Thursday’s game is going to be clear skies with a light breeze.
Given their head-to-head record in the Pakistan Super League, Kings have registered 7 victories in comparison to Qalandar’s five victories.
Since February 2020, Lahore Qalandars and Karachi Kings have won two games apiece.
Fakhar Zaman has shown tremendous consistency for Lahore Qalandars at the top of the innings. The opener showed decent form with the bat in the previous game against Islamabad United. The team management will be hoping that Zaman can deliver his best with the bat against Karachi Kings.
Based on current form, Lahore Qalandars will firm favorites to win their game against Karachi Kings.
With Fakhar Zaman and Ben Dunk showing excellent form with the bat this season and leg-spinner Rashid Khan producing consistently good performances in this UAE leg of PSL, Lahore Qalandars will be looking to dominate the proceedings against Karachi Kings.
Expect Lahore Qalandars to seal their place in the playoffs of PSL.