KARACHI: Karachi Kings won the toss and decided to put Multan Sultans into bat in the first playoff match of the fifth edition of Pakistan Super League here at the National Stadium.
The qualifier between table-toppers Multan Sultans and the league’s runners-up Karachi Kings will begin at 3pm PST which will be supervised by the ICC Elite Panel umpire Michael Gough and Rashid Riaz.
The event had been halted on March 17, 2020, because of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
The winners of the qualifier between Multan and Karachi will qualify for the November 17 final. The losers of the qualifier will get another chance and will meet the winners of the first eliminator between Zalmi and Qalandars in the second eliminator to be played on Sunday.
‘Players in great shape’
Multan Sultans skipper Shan Masood said their players were in perfect shape and were ready for the qualifier against Kings. “The players are in great shape and have responded well in practice games,” Shan told a news conference on Friday.
“We will try to execute our plans and skills and hopefully desired results will be produced,” said Shan.
He said that they would go with a well-balanced bowling unit in order to cope with the changing scenarios on the field.
‘Karachi Kings would go full-throttle’
Karachi Kings skipper Imad Wasim said that they would go full-throttle against Sultans. “We will go full-throttle and deliver our best to win the qualifier and make it to the final,” said Imad.
Kings will miss their Australian coach Dean Jones who died in September in India due to cardiac failure. Wasim Akram will serve as an interim coach.
Head to head
Of the two league games which Kings and Sultans have played in this edition against each others, Sultans won one game. The second one at Lahore on March 6, 2020, yielded no result because of rain.
Karachi Kings: Imad Wasim (c), Aamer Yamin, Alex Hales (England), Arshad Iqbal, Awais Zia, Babar Azam, Cameron Delport (South Africa), Chadwick Walton (West Indies), Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Sharjeel Khan, Sherfane Rutherford (West Indies), Umaid Asif, Umer Khan, Usama Mir, Waqas Maqsood, Wayne Parnell (South Africa)
Multan Sultans: Shan Masood (c), Adam Lyth (England), Ali Shafiq, Bilawal Bhatti, Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe), Imran Tahir (South Africa), Joe Denly (England), Junaid Khan, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Irfan, Ravi Bopara (England), Rilee Rossouw (South Africa), Rohail Nazir, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Usman Qadir and Zeeshan Ashraf
PSL 2020 records
Babar Azam of Karachi Kings leads the batting chart as he has scored 345 runs in ten matches. He is followed by Qalandars’ Chris Lynn (284), Ben Dunk (266) and Luke Ronchi (Islamabad United, 266).
Mohammad Hasnain of Quetta Gladiators leads the bowling chart with 15 wickets. He is followed by Shaheen Afridi (13, Qalandars), Wahab Riaz (11, Zalmi) and Sohail Tanvir (Sultans), Imran Tahir (Sultans) and Mohammad Amir (Kings), who have taken ten each.
The winners of the event will get 500,000 US dollars with the runners-up to go away with 200,000 US dollars.
As much as 80,000 dollars will be distributed among the player of the event, the best batsman, the best bowler and the spirit of cricket award winner.
The playoffs will be held without spectators at the stadium as per COVID-19 protocols.