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PSL 2019 is going to shift to Sharjah for the second leg of matches. The first leg played in Dubai was pretty evenly contested and every single team has managed to secure at least one win. In fact, only Quetta Gladiators have won both of their matches and so there just two points separating the entire Pakistan Super League.
This match is going to be played between Peshawar Zalmi and the Karachi Kings, both teams that have one excellent and forgettable performance in the PSL so far. Peshawar Zalmi recorded a massive victory over the Lahore Qalandars in their last match and boosted their net run-rate as well to come into this match full of confidence.
PSL 2019 is shaping up to be a tournament where every single victory is going to be matter in the end and that is why starting the tournament strong is going to be key.
Peshawar Zalmi won a low scoring match in its previous outing against the Lahore Qalandars. That was a match dominated by the bowlers as Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz combined to run through the opposition before Peshawar Zalmi received a scare at the hands of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Rahat Ali.
None, the less, Peshawar Zalmi was able to chase down its target of 83 in just 10.1 overs and gave its net run-rate a huge bump.
Now, up against a strong batting lineup in Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi will be hoping to build on that performance. Hasan Ali is going to be the key for the Peshawar side once again. He is a bowler who relies heavily on rhythm and feel to his bowling rather than brute pace or variations. Hasan Ali is also helped by having someone like Wahab Riaz on his side to help provide the raw pace which can unsettle the batsmen at the other end.
With Ibtisam Sheikh getting a couple of wickets in the previous match, the bowling is looking pretty decent.
It is the batting that Peshawar Zalmi is going to be a bit worried about. Kamran Akmal is one of the most feared batsmen of PSL and he is crucial to the fortunes of his side at the top of the order. If Akmal and Imam-ul-Haq can combine to give the side a solid start the big hitters down the order can take over.
All-rounders like Keiron Pollard, Darren Sammy, and Liam Dawson give depth to the batting but also make it susceptible to collapses. We would not like to see Sammy and Dawson in with too many overs to face.
Umar Amin scored 61 in the previous match for Peshawar Zalmi when the next highest score was 6. We are not too convinced that Peshawar Zalmi has got its batting lineup right at the moment.
Babar Azam, Liam Livingstone, Colin Ingram, Ben Dunk, Mohammad Rizwan, Aamer Yamin, Sikandar Raza, SI Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Umer Khan, Usman Khan.
We believe that the Karachi Kings have one of the strongest batting lineups in PSL 2019 and this is why they would be disappointed at not being able to chase down a small total against the Lahore Qalandars in their previous match.
The Karachi Kings have the world’s top-ranked T20 batsman on its side in Babar Azam and that is a huge plus form. Babar is remarkably consistent in this format of the game and has got runs in both the matches he has played so far without really getting a big one.
He is in the kind of form that makes it very difficult to bet against him. Babar Azam and Liam Livingstone were involved in the largest opening partnership in PSL history in their first match of PSL 2019. Both of them are going to be the key to the Karachi Kings.
These two are followed by a pretty strong batting lineup too. Mohammad Rizwan, Colin Ingram, Ravi Bopara, Imad Wasim, and Sikandar Raza made up the batting lineup for the Karachi kings in the previous match. That is a very strong lineup with a lot of depth, power, and innovation at its disposal.
Viewed head to head, we definitely think that the Karachi Kings have a stronger batting lineup than Peshawar Zalmi. Babar Azam and Colin Ingram would be the two players we are backing to come good in this match.
Mohammad Amir has been very good in the two matches of PSL 2019 that he has played. He is an exceptional bowler that seemed to have a little zip in the last few months but seems to be getting back to his best.
Mohammad Amir and Usman Shinwari make for two world-class wicket taking bowlers to hound the batsmen together. Imad Wasim, Sohail Khan, and Sikandar Raza form an all-international bowling attack that can hold its own against Peshawar Zalmi.
The Karachi Kings appear to be a very well-balanced side for this edition of the Pakistan Super League.
Kamran Akmal, Imam-ul-Haq, Umar Amin, WL Madsen, Kieron Pollard, LA Dawson, DJG Sammy, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Umaid Asif, Ibtisam Sheikh.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to bat first
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The PSL 2019 match between Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings is going to be played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah. The pitch in Sharjah is usually good for batting although the bounce is a bit on the slower side.
There is going to be little to no help for the bowlers but that is pretty much standard across the UAE. The totals in Sharjah could be a bit higher than what we are seeing in the Dubai International Stadium.
We believe that the Karachi Kings are the better-balanced side in this contest. They have the better-stocked batting unit and a bowling attack that is as good as what Peshawar Zalmi has on its side. Peshawar Zalmi also has match winners on its side and perhaps a bit more power in the lower middle order but their top-order is not the most stable at the moment.
Back the Karachi Kings to win.
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