Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators: Be cautious over PSL finale

Alex Hales
Hales has gone home
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Ed Hawkins previews the Pakistan Super League action from Karachi on Sunday and fires a warning shot about Babar Azam

"We do not advise betting before the toss after the percentage bias to the chaser held at 60%. Six of the last eight at the venue have been won by the chaser"

Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators
Sunday 15 March 11.30
TV: live on Betfair Video

Quetta need big win

Quetta Gladiators are bottom of the table with three wins all campaign. Yet they still have a hope of a top-four finish, albeit a slim one. They need to beat Karachi and hope Lahore lose in the early match on the same day against Multan Sultans (read the preview here).

Chances of things going their way are not assisted by the loss of Jason Roy and Tymal Mills, who have flown home. Roy was their top runscorer and although Mills had played only four matches, he was their second-most economical bowler.
Mohammad Hasnain, with 14, is the top wicket-taker in the tournament while Ben Cutting has been surprisingly potent with the ball, claiming eight wickets. To make up for Roy's absence, 19-year-old batsman Omai Bin Yusuf has been added to the squad.

Probable XI Watson, Manzoor, Shehzad, Sarfaraz, Nawaz, Azam, Cutting, Sohail Khan, Fwad Ahmed, Zahid Mohammed, Hasnain

Kings home and hosed

The Kings got the better of Islamabad United on Saturday, chasing 137 with a slight wobble. Our preview for the game said it was a toss game so we're not going to go overboard about a performance which puts them through to the last four.

It was a strong bowling performance with Iftikhar Ahmed and young pacer Arshad Iqbal combining for a wicket apiece and five overs worth 25.

Karachi have lost Alex Hales but their overseas contingent remains strong. Cameron Delport and Chadwick Walton provide batting power to give Babar Azam and Sharjeel Khan confidence to blitz as openers. Chris Jordan's athletic fielding and death bowling is key.

Probable XI Sharjeel, Babar, Delport, Wasim, Iftikhar, Walton, Jordan, Asir, Mir, Amir, Iqbal

Runs trend busted

Islamabad's laboured innings of 136 on Saturday was a trend buster of sorts. The wicket had previously been full of runs. More than 200 had been busted four times in 13 and going over the 170 mark would have been a winner five times.

The last five first-innings scores, all in this edition (most recent first, 1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second) read: 136-2/156-2/148-2/201-1/168-2.

Kings a trade

With Karachi Kings hovering around the [1.70] mark on the early show we would be surprised if, closer to the toss, Quetta didn't settle at around the [2.30] mark.

But, as ever, the flip is key. We do not advise betting before it after the percentage bias to the chaser held at 60%. Six of the last eight at the venue have been won by the chaser.

If the toss goes Quetta's way and they chase, trading them from around the [2.10] mark to [1.60] could be the way to go. But we also need to be wary that a Lahore win earlier could knock the stuffing out of them.

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Babar bismarck

With 313 runs Babar will probably not be caught for top series runscorer honours. But that haul, an average of 52 and strike rate has not transferred into winners on the top-bat market. Punters following him religiously will be suffering. It's now only two wins in nine after a stop-start display against Islamabad.

Babar looked to have the win in his pocket when Sharjeel khan was the first to fall but he chopped on, suggesting timing or technique was off on a wicket which looked tacky. With babar way below the 30% required for us to consider backing him at around 9/4 with Sportsbook, it feels like highlighting the swerve is a service. Sportsbook offer under/over 28,5 runs at 10/11 and 4/5 respectively. Going over has only been a winner four times this season in eight.

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