Karachi Kings will target a place in the last four as they take on an already ousted Lahore Qalandars in the only match of the Pakistan Super League in Dubai on Sunday.
Karachi have nine points from seven matches and need only one win to qualify for the last four stages of the league while their opponents have nothing at stake other than to salvage some pride after winning just one of their seven matches.
A victory to Quetta Gladiators against Peshawar Zalmi on Saturday night got them to the top of the table with ten points, meant Lahore were left with no chance of reaching the last four stages.
Karachi Kings crushed Multan Sultans by 63 runs in a clinical performance when they batted sensibly to post the highest total of this year of 188-3, with Joe Denly hitting a brilliant 55-ball 78 in an immaculate display of how to rotate the strike and how to give pace to the run rate.
Babar Azam was equally brilliant during his 58 while the real impetus to the innings was given by Colin Ingram’s eight-ball 29 not out which had four towering sixes.
Then Shahid Afridi came into his own, claiming three wickets for just 18 runs to destroy Multan’s batting.
Coach Mickey Arthur will be expecting the same wisdom from his batsmen as they need another big total against Lahore who can only spoil Karachi’s party if they run in form.
Lahore’s problems continued throughout the league as they suffered batting collapses nearly in the six defeats while the only win against Multan also came after some hiccups.
Lahore will be desperate to end the league on a high and can be dangerous with their pace-cum-spin attack. Their teenage pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi recorded the most economical figures in the PSL history with a burst of 5-4 in 3.4 overs against a formidable Multan.
The league will shift once again to Sharjah for the last round of matches before the qualifier in Dubai on March 18.