Peshawar Zalmi vs Karachi Kings | PSL Eliminator 1 | Preview & Prediction
The third-ranked and fourth-ranked sides in the league stage in the Pakistan Super League 2021 season, Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings respectively will clash at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings are the two teams that have qualified for the playoffs stage every season in the PSL from the inaugural season to date. Both the consistent franchises will be taking on each other to decide who makes it to ‘Eliminator 2’ where they will face the losing side from the Qualifier to be played between table-toppers Islamabad United and Multan Sultans.
Both Zalmi and Kings would be looking to make the most of the opportunity as they made it to the play-offs stage on the basis of their superior net run rate. Lahore Qalandars who finished with 10 points in the league stage like Peshawar and Karachi were knocked out after losing all of their last four matches bringing their net run rate to a lowly -0.589.
Peshawar Zalmi finished the league stage of the 2021 PSL season in the third position due to a net run rate of +0.586 after four teams finished with 10 points ahead of the playoffs.
Zalmi has arguably the best all-rounder contingent in the league with Shoaib Maik, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford, and Fabian Allen comprising the middle order of the team. Kamran Akmal, Haider Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Hazratullah Zazai, and David Miller are the prime contenders to be selected as the three prime batsmen in the playing XI. The experienced bowling attack led by skipper Wahab Riaz recently conceded the record total in PSL history but they might get the job done on Monday.
Defending champions Karachi Kings sneaked into the playoffs of the ongoing PSL season after winning their last two league matches courtesy of quick-blitz from lower-order batsmen Imad Wasim and Danish Aziz.
Babar Azam and Martin Guptill are the lynchpins of the Kings’ batting order whilst the likes of Sharjeel Khan, Najibullah Zadran, Chadwick Walton, skipper Wasim, and Aziz try to maintain the strike rate of the team batting alongside the experienced Guptill or Pakistan skipper Azam. Alongside Karachi Kings skipper Wasim, Mohammad Amir spearheads the young Kings’ bowling attack comprising of Afghan teenager Noor Ahmad, and Pakistani seamer duo of Mohammad Ilyas and Arshad Iqbal.
Head to Head Record
In 12 league stage matches, Peshawar Zalmi slightly holds the upper hand in the head to head record as Zalmi has won 7 matches compared to Kings’ 5 wins.
In the two playoffs matches, Zalmi has won both encounters batting first successfully defending their totals on both occasions, one of them being a rain-affected match with both teams batting 16 overs each.
In the PSL 2021 season, Kings won the first match held in Karachi chasing 189 successfully with three balls in hand. Zalmi completed their revenge recently as they chased down 109 in just 11 overs in Abu Dhabi.
Kamran Akmal is the top scorer in the contest with 485 runs whilst Babar Azam is second with 444 runs. Mohammad Amir has the most wickets in Peshawar vs Karachi matches with 16 dismissals to his name, one more than Wahab Riaz’s 15.
Peshawar Zalmi: L/W/L/W/L/L/W
After the ongoing PSL season was resumed in Abu Dhabi, the Wahab Riaz-led Zalmi side lost to Lahore Qalanders and Multan Sultans but won against Quetta Gladiators and Karachi Kings to book their spot in the playoffs.
Karachi Kings: W/W/L/L/L/W/L
On the other hand, Karachi Kings lost their first three fixtures to Multan Sultans, Islamabad United, and Peshawar Zalmi before bouncing back and winning two back-to-back fixtures against Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators to make it to the playoffs.
Predicted Starting XIs
Peshawar Zalmi: Hazratullah Zazai, Kamran Akmal (Wk), Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford, Fabian Allen, Wahab Riaz (C), Umaid Asif, Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Irfan
Karachi Kings: Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Martin Guptill, Najibullah Zadran, Danish Aziz, Chadwick Walton (Wk), Imad Wasim (C), Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Amir, Arshad Iqbal, Noor Ahmad
The well-balanced Karachi Kings squad comes into the knockouts on a two-match winning streak and should fancy their chances against a team they have never come out on top of in the PSL playoffs stage.
Peshawar Zalmi had a good season but can get knocked out on Monday as per the Parimatch prediction with Pakistan’s Champions Trophy hero Mohammad Amir expected to be the difference in quality between the two teams.