Pakistan Super League Betting: Back these two pacers for top bowler

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Ed Hawkins highlights the most reliable top bat and bowler innings bets on two-year data for the Pakistan Super League

"Muhammad Hasnain could be the next big thing. Or a flash in the pan. In his first PSl season, Hasnain won top bowler five times in seven matches"

Will Babar dominate?

Luke Ronchi, Islamabad United 43.4%

In the 2019 PSL, Ronchi opened the batting for Islamabad and crunched three fifties and an aggregate of 319 at a strike rate of 155.6. Bizarre, then, that he hasn't batted in the format since.

It may be wise to give the Kiwi time to find his range, the pace of the ball and the wickets before going for a wager. But with a couple of knocks under his belt it is highly unlikely that the hitter is going to be pitched as short as 6/4.

His record in PSL is sensational. In 23 matches he has amassed 754 runs at a strike rate of 169. Those sort of numbers in a tournament which is rated as the toughest for batsmen, given the vaunted pace stars on offer and tacky wickets assisting spin, are barely believable.

It's worth noting that Sportsbook make him 7/2 for top overall Islamabad runscorer with Colin Munro and Colin Ingram the 3/1 joint favs.

Kamran Akmal, Peshawar Zalmi 34%

Kamran Akmal is not the sort of player punters have found easy to trust. But it is hard to argue with a two-year win rate which suggests he should be going off at 2/1.

Only Shane Watson scored more runs than the Peshawar Zalmi opener last season and he looks primed for another assault on overall top bat. Sportsbook go 18/1. He is 3/1 for top Zalmi bat.

For individual top-bat honours, the shrewdies will spot that Kamran is a pressure-release player. He likes to bat first and swing through the line without worrying about targets or run rates. He averages eight runs more batting first than second.

Babar Azam, Karachi Kings 31.8%

Babar Azam needs to win back some of the love from gamblers. He's jilted us a few too many occasions when batting for Pakistan when there was a queue to get with his 50% win rate for his country.

There a big chunk gone missing in PSL but there can be no doubt that Babar is the best batsman in the country, regardless of the format. If he was Indian he would be a household name in every continent.

Sportsbook have price boosted Babar to 7/1 for overall top runscorer honours and go as skinny as 6/5 that he delivers for Karachi. Both prices rest on him opening the batting but having done so last year it would seem odd that they denied the best batsman the most time.

Ed Hawkins and Freddie Wilde dissect the PSL in our bumper preview for Cricket...Only Bettor

Hasan Ali, Peshawar Zalmi 54.5%

Hasan Ali's win percentage on the top bowler market in individual innings is the best we've seen since we started keeping records. It's mind boggling that - if all was fair in love and war - he should be going off at odds-on.

Of course, we're not arguing that he should be because no bookie would ever lay a bet but we're excited at the prospect of betting him at around the 11/4 mark. Sportsbook go 2/1 that he takes more wickets than his team-mates overall. Last term he took a wicket every 12 balls. His career rate of a wicket every 16.2 balls suggest he will be hard to beat.

Faheem could fly

Usman Shinwari, Lahore Qalandars 52.9%

We're still not over Usman Shinwari's axing from the Pakistan World Cup squad. His left-arm darts, canny death bowling and cool head (not to mention an array of impressive stats) made him a bonkers admission.

Lahore Qalandars knew. That in itself is quite something because this mob have been renowned for brainless cricket down the years. They have managed to assemble the most fearsome pace attack in the tournament. Shinwari joins Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf.

It is true that those two could pinch wickets from our man (this blows the top bowler overall market wide open for other teams) and considering Shinwari has moved from Karachi we have to be cautious about wagering until we know his role is clearly defined.

Faheem Ashraf, Islamabad United 41.6%

Faheem was second on the overall wickets list last term and he could go one better this year. Sportsbook's 22/1 could be eaten into significantly before the off.

Oddly, he's still remembered for what he can do with the bat. Read most profiles of him and they'll wax lyrical about lower-order hitting. He is, though, a bowling all-rounder.

Given responsibility at the top and tail of an innings, Faheem gets the expensive and cheap wickets. He appears to have little to beat for top Islamabad bowler with only Rumman Raees giving cause for concern.

Muhammad Hasnain, Quetta Gladiators, 71.4 (One seven-game season only)

Muhammad Hasnain could be the next big thing. Or a flash in the pan. In his first PSL season, Hasnain won top bowler five times in seven matches, taking a wicket every 14 balls.

Annoying, then, that Sportsbook are alive to his potential. We were hoping we might get bigger than the 5/2 for top Quetta bolwer. He's the sort who could win it one game with a four-wicket burst.

2020: -7.42
2019: +37.25pts
2018: +23.53pts
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l

Ed Hawkins,

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