Karachi Kings entered the Abu Dhabi leg of PSL 2021 high on confidence and with the title of reigning champions resting proudly on their shoulders. But three straight defeats have deflated the air out of their title defence and at this point they are languishing in fifth place on the points table, outside of the playoffs spot and needing an instant turnaround in fortunes to keep their season alive.
While several of their players non named Babar Azam have not performed, the chief culprit is star pacer Mohammad Amir, who is wicketless since the PSL resumed and in those three defeats he has leaked 105 runs in 9.4 overs.
With the pace spearhead bowls this ordinarily, the rest of the unit does not stand a chance. Amir’s lethargy has rubbed on to last season’s find, Arshad Iqbal, too, as he is also wicketless like his experienced teammate.
The batsmen have done little better, and their contributions would look even ugly if Babar’s 85 and 81-run knocks are taken out of their three defeats.
It is not exactly a must-win for Karachi but if they don’t they will need miracles to keep themselves in the playoff hunt.
The start to the Qalandars’ campaign in Abu Dhabi was in complete contrast to Karachi’s. Two straight wins to open the tournament saw them soar to the top of the standings but then two straight defeats have brought them down to Earth as well.
What’s alarming is that both their defeats came in chase of modest totals, which a batting unit as talented as Lahore’s should have reached with ease. After all, 159 and 153 are hardly difficult targets in today’s T20 cricket.
Superstar batsman Mohammad Hafeez has been completely out-of-form during this entire run, scoring just 40 runs in four outings. Fakhar Zaman has fared little better, with his total production being a paltry 66 in four attempts.
The studded bowling unit has been doing its job but the batters are letting Lahore down. If both units click and Lahore get the win, they will seal their qualification to the playoffs.