They were the finalists last season. But defending champions, Karachi Kings and runners-up, Lahore Qalandars find themselves in the chasing pack. After eight matches each in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021, Kings are fifth with six points (three wins), while Qalandars are third with 10 points (five wins). And they face off in the second match of Thursday double-header with a lot at stake. (More Cricket News)
Imad Wasim's Kings lost three matches on the trot since arriving in Abu Dhabi, to Multan Sultans by 12 runs, Islamabad United by eight wickets and to Peshawar Zalmi by six wickets. And now, they are fighting for survival. In fact, their chances of making the top four look extremely difficult. They have always featured in the play-offs.
Even if the Kings manage to win both their remaining matches, including tonight's fixture, they will have ten points at most. Three teams already have ten or more -- United (12 from eight matches), Zalmi (10 from nine matches) and Qalandars. So a lot will depend on how they win (read - run rate) and also on other results.
For Sohail Akhtar's Qalandars, all they need is a win from their remaining two matches. 12 points will be enough to finish fourth in the points table. Win both the matches big, and they can even fight for the top spot.
Qalandars started the Abu Dhabi leg with back-to-back wins against United by five wickets and Zalmi by 10 runs. But they lost the next two, United (again) by 28 runs and Quetta Gladiators by 18 runs.
Both the teams will also keep an on the first match tonight between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi.
Head-to-head: Karachi Kings lead the head-to-head 7-5. In the last meeting, Lahore Qalandars beat the Kings by six runs.
Match and telecast details
Match: 27th match of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 between Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars
Date: June 17 (Thursday), 2021
Time: 11:30 PM IST/ 10:00 PM local
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE
TV Channels: Sony Pictures Network
Live Streaming: SonyLIV
Playing XIs in the last match
Karachi Kings (vs Peshawar Zalmi): Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan, Martin Guptill, Najibullah Zadran, Chadwick Walton (wk), Noor Ahmad, Imad Wasim (c), Abbas Afridi, Waqas Maqsood, Mohammad Amir, Aamer Yamin.
Lahore Qalandars (vs Quetta Gladiators): Fakhar Zaman, Sohail Akhtar(c), Zeeshan Ashraf, Mohammad Hafeez, Ben Dunk(w), Tim David, James Faulkner, Rashid Khan, Ahmed Daniyal, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.
Karachi Kings: Imad Wasim (c), Abbas Afridi, Amir Yamin, Arshad Iqbal, Babar Azam, Chadwick Walton, Danish Aziz, Martin Guptill, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Haris, Thisara Perera, Najeebullah Zadran, Noor Ahmed, Qasim Akram, Sharjeel Khan, Waqas Maqsood and Zeeshan Malik.
Lahore Qalandars: Sohail Akhtar (c), Ahmed Danyal, Ben Dunk, Callum Ferguson, Dilbar Hussain, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, James Faulkner, Maaz Khan, Mohammad Faizan, Mohammad Hafeez, Rashid Khan, Salman Ali Agha, Seekuge Prasana, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sultan Ahmed, Tim David, Zaid Alam and Zeeshan Ashraf.