About the Match
Karachi Kings finally made a breakthrough with a win in their last game against United which came through the D/L method by 8 runs; they continue to be at the bottom of the table but have opened their points tally with 2 points. The Kings will yet again take on Peshawar Zalmi, against whom they have lost one match already, on 19th February at Sharjah. Zalmi had played their last game against Islamabad United which they lost in a nail-biting battle. It needs to be seen if the Kings can avenge their previous defeat and make their way upwards before it gets too late.
It was a rain-affected match against United but the Kings used the opportunity to garner the much-needed opening points of the season; the win by 8 runs through the D/L method, wherein they achieved the reduced target of 67 before play was stopped at the 10th over of the second innings. Babar Azam yet again stood strong, posting an unbeaten 47 off 30 to take the team across the finish line when others like Gayle, Sangakkara and Malik fell for single digits.
Earlier, the spinners did well to take regular wickets with Imad Wasim and Usama Mir taking 2 scalps each; speedsters Usman Khan and Mohammad Amir too tried to stifle the opponents and they combined well to restrict United to 90 runs in 13 overs. In the previous game against Gladiators, the bowlers had failed to fended 159 runs after a lone effort by paceman Sohail Khan, who took 3-23, went in vain. Azam and Sangakkara had kept the scoreboard ticking but others failed to impress much, losing the match by 7 wickets.
The recent victory would surely come as a morale boost to the Kings and they could strategize well here against Zalmi to get more points in their kitty.
Peshawar Zalmi lost to Islamabad United in a last-ball encounter. Their bowling almost defended a total which looked sub-par on a flat Sharjah deck. Batting first, Zalmi made 136 with batsmen getting starts, but no one really scored big. Eion Morgan was the top-scorer for them with a run a ball 28. Had their fielding been a tad better, the result could have been very different.
The bowlers picked up early wickets without anything substantial on the scoreboard at the end of the powerplay. Hasan Ali, Shakib al Hasan and Wahab Riaz bowled tightly so as to strangle United for runs. Junaid Khan struggled throughout the innings as he gave away 43 runs in his first three Overs.
Overall, Zalmi have a good team which has become stronger with Shakib's availability. Their batsmen would have to pull their socks up to challenge the Kings who have won a game recently.
Barring their last game, the Zalmi batsmen had done better than the Kings so far and the bowlers too are consistent in their wicket-taking abilities; while the Kings are pumped up after their maiden win this season, Zalmi have the momentum with them. We feel that the Kings with their newly found confidence will prevail in this all-important clash