Confident Karachi brace for “clash of the titans” with Lahore
DUBAI: Boost up by back to back successes a confident Karachi Kings brace for wounded Lahore Qalandars, hoping another win could bring them closer to the play-off of the Pakistan Super League in the only match at Dubai stadium on Monday.
Karachi Kings improved their record against last year’s finalists Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi with 19-run and five wicket victories to get a kick start to the PSL 3, raising hopes of a better finish than their fourth in the inaugural edition and third last year.
Skipper Imad Wasim warned the league was still in early stages.
“We are not getting carried away as this is an early stage of the league,” said Imad after his team made a heavy weather of a modest 132-run target on Sunday night. “We should have won two three overs before so thats an area where we have to be cautious.”
Karachi Kings will also be cautious of their opponents Lahore who will be looking for a strong performance after two back to back defeats, by 43 runs against Multan Sultans and by nine wickets against Quetta.
Lahore collapsed miserably against Multan in their chase of a 180-run target — still the highest in the tournament — after being well set at 132-3, losing seven wickets in a proverbial “fell like nine pin” collapse.
They also failed to capitalise a robust start of 45 in 3.3 overs to lose against Quetta.
Karachi Kings have the best record against Lahore, beating them by seven wickets and 27 runs in the first edition and by five wickets in the second. Their only loss against Lahore was a close seven run defeat last year.
Karachi will be sweating on the fitness of their sopearhead Mohammad Amir who was cautiously rested after two overs of two wickets with a side strain but Imad was hopeful his main bowler will be on the park.
“Amir felt some pain so we rested him cautiously and hope that he will be okay for the match on Monday but even if he is not then we have a back up,” said Imad of Usman Khan Shinwari who is also raring to go after recovering from a back injury suffered late October.
Lahore will hope their star studded batting of Brendon McCullum, Fakhar Zaman, Umar Akmal and Cameroon Delport fire for them to open their account in the league.
Lahore will also be desperate to improve on their last finish in both the first two years of the league.
They are still waiting for pace spearhead Sohail Khan to recover fully from a back injury sustained last month to bolster their pace attack. Sohail was the best bowler last year with 16 wickets. But that was for Karachi Kings and will give him reason enough to fire against his old team-mates.
The league will shift to Sharjah on Wednesday after a day’s rest.