Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings have one win each under their belts but enter the Sharjah leg of PSL 2019 with varying levels of confidence.
The Dubai leg of the PSL ended with batsmen generally struggling as wickets and conditions became in favour of the bowlers.
Karachi were on the receiving end of some top quality bowling in their previous game, with Lahore Qalandars quick Haris Rauf snaring 4-23 in a match-winning effort that restricted Karachi to 116 in their chase of 139.
A lot will depend on opening batsman Babar Azam and how he handles the in-form Peshawar Zalmi bowlers.
Zalmi quicks Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz were in lethal form as they dismissed an AB de Villiers led-Lahore Qalandars for just 78.
Hasan has looked a different bowler altogether in this year’s PSL and the way he castled De Villiers neck and crop during his spell of 4-15 will give his franchise and the national team a lot of confidence. Left-arm quick Wahab, meanwhile, continued bowling with searing pace as he gave another good account of himself, picking up 3-17 to go with his 2-18 against Quetta.
Ben Dunk has joined Karachi after scoring a fine fifty in the Big Bash League final for Melbourne Stars. Peshawar will be hoping new recruit Imam-ul-Haq finds his feet at the top as that would give them solidity. Their middle order looks vulnerable in the absence of Misbah-ul-Haq and they could consider giving up an international player to include Misbah.
Karachi all-rounder Ravi Bopara had two average games and should make way for Dunk who at least promises some runs. Peshawar need a lot more out of their West Indies all-round duo Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy. Zalmi skipper Sammy in fact hasn’t batted or bowled this PSL and it remains to be seen how long both continue in the playing XI.
Karachi Kings: Liam Livingstone, Babar Azam, Ben Dunk, Mohammad Rizwan, Colin Ingram, Imad Wasim (c), Sikandar Raza, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Amir, Umer Khan, Usman Shinwari
Peshawar Zalmi: Kamran Akmal (wk), Imam-ul-Haq, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Amin, Kieron Pollard, Liam Dawson, Darren Sammy (c), Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Umaid Asif, Ibtisam Sheikh
Match starts 20:00 UAE time
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