We are just a few matches away from the midway mark in the Pakistan Super League 2022 and things are certainly getting exciting with every passing match. We just saw Islamabad United post a record total and with the way the surface is playing, we are expecting to see a lot of high-scoring matches.
Up next in the tournament, Karachi Kings are set to take on Peshawar Zalmi in a bid to get their first win of the tournament. Considering that the Zalmis too are struggling, this might well be the best chance for the Kings to get off the mark in the competition. The match between the two sides is to be played at the National Stadium in Karachi on February 4th, 2022.
KARACHI KINGS VS PESHAWAR ZALMI TEAM PREVIEWS
Karachi Kings were one of the title favorites before the tournament started, but their off-field and on-field strategy have been nowhere close to where they would have wanted it to be. They have lacked intent on the field and their strategy with respect to the team combinations has so far been completely off.
We saw them tinker with their batting lineup in the previous two matches and they have perhaps pressed the panic button a little too soon to their liking. In their last match, they faced a narrow loss at the hands of Lahore Qalandars, who were undoubtedly a better side between the two in that match.
Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives for the Kings in the previous match, the most prominent one being the way their batsmen went about their business. Their top-order did a decent job in setting up a platform, but their lower middle-order failed to capitalize on the set platform after the Kings were flying high with 122 runs on the board in the 15th over. They eventually finished with a total of 170 runs on the board, which proved to be a little too hard to defend.
As it currently stands on the ladder, Karachi Kings are placed at the bottom and will need to do something substantial to get off from there. Besides, they have a terrible net run rate of -0.998, which just shows how poor they have been up until now.
On paper, the Kings have a decent side that does seem to be over-reliant on their batting. Their batting, in turn, hasn’t really kicked off and they would really be desperate to make things work in the upcoming match. Joe Clarke should ideally be opening given the numbers he has at the top with Babar Azam coming in at three. The Kings, on the other hand, have adopted a more conservative approach. Given the position they are in at the moment, the Kings would want to be a lot more ruthless in their approach. If they can do that and are able to play to their potential, getting past them would be a very difficult job.
Peshawar Zalmi have historically been one of the most consistent sides in the competition and their form would certainly be disappointing to see them in the bottom half of the points table. However, these are still early days in the tournament and Peshawar Zalmi have all the ingredients that a team should have to bounce back in the competition.
As it currently stands on the points table, Peshawar Zalmi are placed at the fifth spot with one win from three matches. The more remarkable thing about them on the ladder is their net run rate of -1.182, which is the worst among all sides in the competition. A win here will bring them back in the reckoning for the top-four and that is exactly what they will be looking to do.
The Zalmis are coming off a hefty loss at the hands of Lahore Qalandars in a high-scoring match. Chasing a total of 199, Peshawar Zalmi managed to put up just 170 runs on the board, losing nine wickets in the process. They looked far from their best in both departments of the game and will need to step up their game should they want to rise up the ladder.
On paper, Peshawar Zalmi have a decent side with match-winners available right through. However, they have only one reliable batsman in their batting order in the form of Shoaib Malik, making their batting a bit too fragile. The likes of Haider Ali and Hussain Talat would need to get more consistent going forward to take some pressure off their lower middle-order. If that happens and they can hold their nerve in crunch moments, Peshawar Zalmi could prove to be a dangerous side to get past.
Event: Karachi Kings vs Peshawar Zalmi, Match 11
Venue: National Stadium, Karachi
Date & Time: 4th February at 8:00 PM IST and 7:30 PM Local Time
Hardly, there have been low scoring games so far at the National Stadium in Karachi and the pitch has shown excellent signs for batting. Any score above 170 is going to be difficult to chase despite the dew factor, and the bowlers will have to come up with different plans to stay one step ahead of the batters.
AVERAGE SCORE: 161 (9 MATCHES IN PSL 2022)
Record of chasing teams: Won – 6, Lost – 3
KARACHI KINGS VS PESHAWAR ZALMI HEAD TO HEAD
Overall games-13, Karachi Kings – 5, Peshawar Zalmi -8
PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERS
PROBABLE BEST BATTER OF THE MATCH: SHARJEEL KHAN
Sharjeel Khan has been one of the positives for the Karachi Kings so far, despite the team losing three games in a row and he is likely to continue his good form at the top. The left-hander has scored 113 runs so far in 3 innings with one-half century and he will be crucial to the success of the Karachi King’s side along with skipper Babar Azam.
PROBABLE BEST BOWLER OF THE MATCH: IMAD WASIM
Imad Wasim hasn’t been able to provide the breakthroughs consistently but has managed to keep the economy rate under control. The left-arm spinner picked up one wicket for 28 runs in the previous match and bowled an economical spell in the game against Quetta Gladiators. He can be a difficult bowler to play in the first six overs and he will be very effective with the proper usage of his skills.
TODAY’S MATCH PREDICTION: KARACHI KINGS TO WIN THE MATCH.