- Karachi Kings have shown more consistency in the tournament and this is likely to give them the edge in this game
- Babar Azam is the leading dun getter this season and he can win the game for the Karachi Kings
- Lahore Qalandars have never been in this stage of the tournament and shall need to deal with additional pressure
The last few days have been crazy for the cricketing community and the organizers of the PSL. They had to compress the league replacing the play-offs with semi-finals due to the corona virus threat with many of the foreign players already having left for their homes. Karachi Kings who finished second on the points table would be taking on Lahore Qalandars in second semi-final. The Kings lost by 5 wickets in their last game while the Qalandars have earned their place with a thumping 9 wicket in their last league match.
The sides had met each other twice earlier in the season and shared the honors with both the sides winning a game each. Qalandars seem to have gained the momentum at the right stage of the season and shall look to carry that into the next game. The Karachi Kings are coming into this game after suffering a big loss and this is likely to play in their minds. The stakes are high for both the sides and they having had a similar trajectory in the tournament we expect the next game to be a good contest.
Skipper Imad Wasim missed the last game and he would have felt sad to see his side going down in the last game against the Quetta Gladiators by 5 wickets. Wasim would be looking to see a spirited performance from his boys in the next game. They are up against a side that is currently looking in tremendous form and will need to come up with a special effort to win the next game.
They will need a good start at the top from Babar Azam and he will be looking to start well with fellow opener Sharjeel Khan who has also looked in good form. Chadwick Walton and Cameron Delport played brilliantly in the last game and along with Iftikhar Ahmed solidify the batting in the middle order. Imad Wasin and Mohammad Rizwan will look to make good use of the long handle in the next game.
Mohammad Amir returning to the side is great news and he will be looking to pick wickets with the new ball. Imad Wasim too has had a great tournament and been successful in keeping the run-rate low for their opponents. Arshad Iqbal and Umer Khan will look to tighten the screws during the next game. Having done well in the last game it will be interesting to see how the side fares in the next one.
Babar Azam, Cameron Delport and Mohammad Amir will be expected to do well for Karachi Kings in this game
Expected Playing XI :
Imad Wasim (c), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Cameron Delport, Chadwick Walton, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Arshad Iqbal, Umer Khan, Ali Khan, Mohammad Amir
Sohail Akhtar would be extremely impressed with the performance of his side at the most crucial juncture of the tournament. They trounced the table toppers Multan Sultans in the last game by 9 wickets to earn a place for themselves in the semi-final. The side is lucky to have its entire squad available for selection in the next game. Having gained momentum in the most crucial phase of the tournament they will be looking to reach the finals first time ever.
Chris Lynn scored a thrilling hundred in the last game and he looks at his best. Fakhar Zaman too comes into this game after a big innings and the two players would be look to provide the side with a good start. Sohail Akhtar, Ben Dunk and Mohammad Hafeez have done well in the tournament so far. Having Samit Patel and David Weise down the order adds to the confidence of the batting line-up at the moment.
The skipper would be happy with the form of his bowlers as Mohammad Hafeez and Shaheen Afridi bowled well in the last game with the new ball. Dilbar Hussain has been in great for so far in the season and along with Samit Patel and Haris Rauf will look to do well in the next game. Raja Farzan and Wiese add to the bowling options for the skipper.
Fakhar Zaman, Chris Lynn and Ben Dunk are the three players the side would count on the most in the next game.
Expected Playing XI:
Sohail Akhtar (c), Fakhar Zaman, Chris Lynn, Ben Dunk (wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Samit Patel, David Wiese, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Raja Farzan, Dilbar Hussain
We have already seen a preference among sides to win the toss and bowl first on this surface. Teams have chased down big scores on this pitch so far in the tournament. Given the record so far in the season we expect the side winning the toss to opt for bowling first on this surface.
PITCH AND WEATHER CONDITIONS
The pitch here in Lahore has been flat as a pancake in the last few games and we have seen sides maintaining a healthy run rate. There isn’t much for the fast bowlers on this surface and they have gone for runs. Though spinners have been able to draw more mileage in the next game we expect it to be another high scoring clash.
The skies over Lahore would be clear on the day of the semi-final. The playing conditions would be brilliant with the temperature expected to be 23℃ when the game starts. 49% humidity is predicted for the day with 0% precipitation.
Karachi Kings have been the more consistent of the two sides so far in the tournament. The Lahore Qalandars have been patchy which would be worrying their camp. This would give Karachi Kings the edge going into the next game.
Karachi Kings batting line-up looks very strong with Babar Azam having played few big knocks in the tournaments already. With good balance in their middle order where players have done well the Kings look the better team at the moment.
Finally Lahore Qalandars don’t have the experience of playing at this stage and this is likely to result in few nerves on their camp. This will work in Karachi Kings’ favour and will put them nose ahead in this all important game.