Kings versus Sultans: Wounded teams look for back-on-track victories
DUBAI: Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans — top of the table when the first round of five matches was over — will look to address their shortcomings in batting as they lock horn with each other while in a repeat of last year’s final Peshawar Zalmi meet Quetta Gladiators in Dubai on Saturday.
The two teams had a damp squib when they were last slated to meet on Friday in Sharjah as the match was rained off, leaving both the teams to guess what is in the offing and what weak and strong points they have.
Both Multan and Karachi had batting hiccups in their last matches, Karachi going down to Quetta Gladiators by the biggest marging in PSL history of 67 runs while Multan fell to a paltry total of 114 against Lahore Qalandars.
Both teams will have an eye on the points table as well with Islamabad are one with ten points from seven games. Multan are second with nine points.
Karachi surprisingly dropped in-form opener Khurram Manzoor who hit a brilliant 41-ball 51 against Islamabad in favour of David Wiese who could not live up to his reputation of a big hitter. Khurram is likely to return at the expense of former South African as Karachi will also look to their foreign duo of Joe Denly and Colin Ingram to fire after a poor outing.
Multan will hope their potent pace attack once again live up to expectations against Karachi. Umar Gul came in for one match and nearly destroyed Quetta with six wickets before losing their match against Lahore Qalandars due to a knee injury.
Head coach Tom Moody hoped the focus remains on win.
“We are focused at our performance and know that we need to win our remaining matches to qualify for the last four,” said Moody, who hoped opener Ahmed Shehzad also fires along with Kumar Sangakkara.
Karachi head coach Mickey Arthur also raised hopes of a comeback.
“We had a good momentum after three matches but a rained off game and then three days rest snatched that momentum so we hope that the rhythm is back as we need a win against Multan,” said Arthur.
In a repeat of last year’s final Peshawar Zalmi will also hope their poor campaign gets back on track. Their batting flopped against Islamabad spinners, losing seven wickets to left-armers Samit Patel and Zafar Gohar.
Quetta will also look to exploit their weakness against spin, as they also have two quality left armers in Mohammad Nawaz and Hasan Khan.
Quetta’s star is all-rounder Shane Watson who is top of the batting chart while he is also handy as bowler.