Ed Hawkins previews the Pakistan Super League encounter from Karachi on Saturday and expects the chaser to dominate again...
"These really should be choice affairs pre-toss. It is simple to make a case for the outsider before the flip on value terms"
Karachi Kings v Multan Sultans
Saturday 27 February, 09:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
The holders suffered their first defeat of the season last time out. Not surprisingly it came because they lost the toss. More surprisingly it came because they failed to defend 196. Toss bias or not, they should have been capable of busting the trend.
Islamabad United were the team to beat them. They got plenty of help from Yasir Amin, who bowled one over for 29, and pace bowling premium pair Waqas Maqsood and Mohammad Amir who went for more than 10 an over.
You could say there's nowt wrong with their batting but Babar Azam's 62 was way too slow at a strike rate of 114. Sharjeel Khan smashed a ton after a slow start. Both need to be on it from ball one.
Possible XI Babar, Sharjeel, Ingram, Clarke, Imad, Christian, Nabi, Amin, Waqas, Amir, Arshad
Multan hit back
Multan Sultans ended a five-game losing sequence with a disciplined showing after winning the toss and fielding against Lahore Qalandars on Friday. They chased 158 with almost four overs to spare.
They produced a sharper display in the field after previously looking loose. Veteran Sohail Khan returned to the XI to provide control with the new ball and spinner Usman Qadir did well to come back after a disastrous first over. The star was Carlos Brathwaite, however, who took two for 20.
Mohammad Rizwan continued to bask in the form of his life with a 76. He looks bailed on to take top bat honours in the tournament. He has now passed 40 in his last six innings for Multan and Pakistan in T20.
Possible XI Rizwan, Lynn, Vince, Maqsood, Rossouw, Khushdil, Brathwaite, Afridi, Tanvir, Khan, Qadir
All seven matches so far (not including the second of Friday's double header) at the Karachi National Stadium in this PSL have been won by the chaser. So it is now 15 wins in the last 17 for the chaser. More than 160 has still only been busted seven times in 19.
Don't ignore toss bias
Kings are 1.654/6 with Multan 2.186/5. We say it every game but disrespect the toss bias at your peril, even if this is a day encounter.
These really should be choice affairs pre-toss. It is simple to make a case for the outsider before the flip on value terms. If the fifty-fifty call goes their way you have a solid wager. But we can wait. We don't expect a flip-flop on the odds if Multan were to chase. They might shorten to a choice affair.
If Kings bat second we would wait for them to come up in price with runs on the board, looking for around the 1.9010/11 mark.
Babar is 2/1 for top bat honours for Kings with Sportsbook but the stand out price is Sharjeel who, inexplicably, is rated at 4/1. He will open and he is in form after that century. Rizwan is 12/5 but taking that price about another Multan top seems like following the money.
The top match batsman market may be of interest - Babar is 7/1 and Rizwan 9/2. Sharjeel is 15/2. Babar top scores in a match for Pakistan 24% of the time. Sportsbook's implied probability is 22.
Waqas remains value at 7/2 for Kings bowler because of that potent strike rate. He will likely be expensive but that's not really important and he should pick up cheap wickets at the death.
We note Chris Lynn's runs quote at over/under 21.5. Up against another dangerous bowling attack, Lynn might not get the room to get his arms swinging.