PSL 2019: Karachi and Peshawar search for momentum before playoff battle

Waseem Ahmed 23:37 10/03/2019
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Peshawar Zalmi's Hasan Ali. Image - @thePSLt20/Twitter.

With their 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL) playoff berths already secured, Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi will hope to gain some momentum before the business end of the tournament gets underway.

Karachi booked the final play-off spot on Sunday with a dramatic one-run victory over Quetta Gladiators and will be looking to keep that winning run going.

Imad Wasim’s men looked down and out when Ahmed Shehzad was striking the ball to all parts of the ground in Karachi before Usman Shinwari pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the final over by defending five runs and picking up three wickets.

With five wins from nine games, Karachi could still beat Islamabad United to the third spot in the table but it will not really make any difference with regards to the make-up of the play-off battle.

The Kings are almost certain to face Islamabad in the Eliminator barring a thumping win over Peshawar on Monday. Karachi and Peshawar are currently separated by only two points in the table but the latter have a much superior net run-rate (+0.566) compared to the former (-0.403).

Peshawar have a top-two finish almost secured barring a disaster against Karachi on Monday. However, Darren Sammy and his men could still finish the 2019 PSL league stage on top ahead of Quetta Gladiators should they beat the Kings.

With Sammy and his men most likely to face Quetta in the Qualifier, they will want to hit the ground running at Karachi on Monday. Another incentive for them in what is a dead-rubber clash is for Hasan Ali to regain the ‘Fazal Mahmood Cap’ (highest wicket-taker) from Faheem Ashraf who has moved to the top after a six-wicket haul against Lahore.

LIKELY XIs

Karachi Kings: Colin Munro, Babar Azam, Liam Livingstone, Colin Ingram, Ben Dunk (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim (c), Aamer Yamin, Umer Khan, Usman Shinwari, Sohail Khan.

Peshawar Zalmi: Kamran Akmal (wk), Imam-ul-Haq, Umar Amin, Misbah-ul-Haq, Liam Dawson, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy (c), Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Tymal Mills, Sameen Gul.

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