HBL PSL: ‘Confident’ Kings look to pile further misery on Babar’s Zalmi

ISLAMABAD: Karachi Kings skipper Imad Wasim is hoping his side can carry on in the Rawalpindi-Lahore leg of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) from where they left off in Karachi.

The Kings whipped Multan Sultans by 66 runs in their final home match of the season on Sunday for only their second victory in six matches and Imad wants his side to build on that performa­nce when they face Peshawar Zalmi at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

“It has put us back on track … winning by a good margin is always good for the confidence,” he told reporters on Tuesday, when rain forced them to cancel their training session at the Islamabad Club.

The Kings sit fourth in the table, ahead of fifth-placed Zalmi on net run rate having played a game more, but Imad believes his side can finish in the top four to make the playoffs.

“There’s a lot of games left so anything can happen,” he said. “The matches we lost this season were by the barest of margins and they could’ve gone either way but we’ve been working on finishing off games.”

That was certainly on show against the Sultans with youngster Tayyab Tahir inspiring with the bat and then South African spinner Tabraiz Shamsi producing magic with the ball.

“There’s a reason why Tabraiz is the world’s top T20 bowler and when he got the opportunity, he took his chance with both hands,” said Imad, who added that the wicket at the Pindi Stadium was “perfect” for T20 cricket.

Zalmi are on a two-game losing run, the latest coming against Lahore Qalandars in Lahore on Sunday.

Their flamboyant opener Moha­mmad Haris said his side was looking to put that behind them against the Kings.

“We will try to come back in the tournament as there are five matches left,” Haris told reporters on Tuesday.

Zalmi skipper Babar Azam, Paki­stan’s all-format skipper, has come under fire regarding the leadership of his side with his bowlers having been thrashed by Islamabad United and the Qalandars in their last two matches.

Haris, however, was quick to defend his captain. “Every youngster wants to play alongside Babar. He’s always teaching us about cricket and I try my best to learn a lot from him.”

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2023

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