Quetta Gladiators v Karachi Kings
Saturday 19 June 14:00
TV: Live on Sky Sports
Any hope that Quetta might be capable of hauling themselves from the bottom of the pile in part two was quickly extinguished. They have lost three games out of four and the services of key personnel.
Faf Du Plessis, who suffered a concussion, will not play in the final match meaning they are without both superstar signings. Andre Russell has returned to the Caribbean to prepare for West Indies’ T20 series against South Africa.
Quetta came into the Abu Dhabi leg with the worst economy rate in the field. They have been admirably consistent, conceding 183 and 197 when bowling first and losing in record time against Lahore, who chased 134 with 60 balls left. Their one success – defending 158 against Lahore – made no sense whatsoever and should be treated as a freak.
Possible XI Weatherald, U Khan, Delport, Sarfaraz, A Khan, Nawaz, Shinwari, H Khan, Hasnain, Khurram, Zahir Khan
Karachi hold nerve
Karachi Kings are the holders but their crown has slipped over their eyes in the second leg. They started as group leaders, they go into their final game second-bottom with only a win good enough for qualification.
Although Lahore have given them a run for their money in terms of most spectacular implosion, the truth about Karachi is that they are a completely different team from the outfit which did so well in the Karachi leg. They lost their middle-order and that allied with a bowling attack which has always been leaky has proved a disastrous combination.
At least they won last time out, beating Lahore by seven runs and holding their nerve in the face of a late onslaught from Aussie pair Tim David and James Faulkner.
Possible XI Sharjeel, Babar, Guptill, Zadran, Walton, Imad, Aziz, Noor Ahmad, Amir, Abbas, Ilyas.
The first-innings scores so far at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second) read: 176-1/183-1/108-2/190-2/166-2/197-1/133-2/170-1/176-1/143-2. Five out of six teams who have busted 170 have gone on to win.
We expect a high score if Karachi bat first and will look for big numbers in-play. When Islamabad were on their way to posting 247 against Zalmi – a par score looked to be 190 – you could have taken 10.09/1 about 210 or more and 20.019/1 about 220 or more. Karachi have the hitting talent – and Quetta the ill-discipline – for something monstrous.
A good starting point is to look for around 2.757/4 that Karachi notch 190 or more. Sportsbook go 6/4 both teams score 170 or more. We’d be slightly nervous about that because Quetta’s batting got rolled for 73 against the Sultans.
Kings to win
We expected Karachi to be sub 1.705/7 after getting a confidence-boosting win. Instead they are a shade under 1.804/5. If they tick over into that region we’d be all over them, particularly batting first.
That should allow a simple trade at the break with Karachi more than capable of a whopping score. We’re not adverse, though, to recognising Karachi as pure pre-toss value.
Against Lahore they deployed 16-year-old wristspinner Noor Ahmad. The Afghan claimed man of the match for two wickets and a mean economy rate. He has given Karachi the control they have been lacking.
Sportsbook offer 13/8 that Karachi win and both teams score 160. That’s a price that could see plenty of business.
Babar Azam has again been price-boosted by Sportsbook for top Karachi bat. The top tournament runscorer copped last time out. The firm also offer 5/6 that he busts 32.5 runs. He has done so 11 times in 18 innings this year.
For top Quetta bat we will have a gamble on Azam Khan’s hitting ability. Azam is a bludgeoner who has the capability of a rapid 30 or 40 to take down an early leader. He is 13/2 but we should look for double that in-play.