Babar-led Zalmi eyes winning start against Kings
Peshawar Zalmi skipper Babar Azam will be eyeing a fresh and winning start to the Pakistan Super League’s eighth edition today (Tuesday) when his side takes on Karachi Kings in the second match of the league.
The PSL’s eighth edition began with Lahore Qalandars’ victory after a fascinating encounter with Multan Sultans on Monday night.
The home-side Karachi Kings will face Peshawar Zalmi today at the National Bank Cricket Arena at 7:30 pm local time.
Kings would want to bury the last season’s memories when they lost nine out of ten matches — the worst performance in the PSL history.
In today’s clash, all eyes will be on Babar Azam as he is now leading a new side against his former team.
In past encounters, between sides played some thrilling matches due to players’ performances. But Zalmi have a seven-match lead over Kings. Both teams met 17 times in the league with Zalmi winning 12 while Kings recorded victories in five matches.
Players to watch out for
Both teams are well-balanced and also have the services of some of their foreign recruits ahead of the match.
Zalmi relying on young guns
Zalmi have lots of young talented players who have impressed with their hard-hitting abilities in past matches. Top-order batters Mohammad Haris and Saim Ayub are the key batters, who can take the attack to the opposition. Both are exceptionally good in the domestic circuit as well.
In the new season, Babar will look to lead Zalmi from the front in order to bag the elusive PSL title for Peshawar. Zalmi’s management would be hoping that Babar will inspire his new side, after leaving Karachi Kings before the draft last year, with his batting prowess and captaincy.
Babar has the most runs in all editions of the PSL, with 2,413 runs in 68 matches. He has represented Islamabad United and Karachi Kings in the past editions of the tournament and has the highest score of 80.
Sharjeel Khan can take advantage of the powerplay with his explosive batting. The left-handed batter scored 1,085 runs in 45 matches of PSL history after representing Karachi Kings and Islamabad United. Sharjeel has the opportunity to impress with his performance against Zalmi.
The experienced all-rounder Shoaib Malik is the fourth highest run-scorer in PSL history. He has played every season of PSL and scored 1882 runs in 72 matches. He can also provide valuable advice to captain Imad on the field.
Mohammad Amir has played in many T20 leagues over the world after he retired from national duties. He is a key pacer for the Kings and has played an important role in Karachi’s victories in the past. Amir is also the first bowler to take a hat-trick in PSL, which came in 2016 against Lahore Qalandars.
Karachi Kings squad
Haider Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Shoaib Malik, Aamir Yamin, Mir Hamza, Sharjeel Khan, Qasim Akram, Matthew Wade, Imran Tahir, James Vince, James Fuller, Andrew Tye, Tayyab Tahir, Mohammad Akhlaq, Muhammad Irfan Khan, Tabraiz Shamsi, Mohammad Umar, Ben Cutting, Musa Khan, Faisal Akram (partial replacement for Tabraiz Shamsi), Adam Rossington (partial replacement for James Vince).
Peshawar Zalmi squad
Babar Azam, Sherfane Rutherford, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Haris, Aamir Jamal, Salman Irshad, Tom-Kohler Cadmore, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Rovman Powell, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Danish Aziz, Arshad Iqbal, Saim Ayub, Usman Qadir, Sufyan Muqeem, Haseeb Ullah, Jimmy Neesham, Khurram Shahzad, Haris Sohail, Richard Gleeson (partial replacement for Rovman Powell), Peter Hatzoglou (partial replacement for Mujeeb ur Rahman).