Cricket betting expert Ed Hawkins previews the final of the Pakistan Super League from Karachi on Wednesday and says Lahore can take charge of a close game...
"If Lahore get that opportunity to bat first and put a score of 170 or more on the board then Kings are likely to find it tricky."
Karachi Kings v Lahore Qalandars
Tuesday November 10 14:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Kings in good shape
Karachi Kings booked their final spot with victory over Multan Sultans in the first qualifier. They dominated the Sultans except for the last four overs of a chase when the Kings suffered a collapse but regained their composure to take the Super Over.
They were most impressive with the ball. Arshan Iqbal and Waqas Maqsood, the unheralded pair, were the pick as Sultans were restricted to 142. Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir also turned up as the unit fired together.
Typically, Babar Azam led the charge with the bat. His 65 from 53 set the chase up before they lost their way. Kings may look to find an alternative to Wayne Parnell who had a stinker of a game, though.
Probable XI Sharjeel, Babar, Hales, Iftikhar, Imad, Walton, Rutherford, Parnell, Amir, Maqsood, Iqbal
Qalandars have rhythm
Lahore are buzzing with two wins in the first and second eliminator. They knocked out the Sultans with a dominant show on Sunday and may reckon the chance to play twice and find rhythm gives them an advantage over Kings in a tournament which has had a standing restart.
Batting first against Multan they made a strong start through Tamim Iqbal and Fakhar Zaman before losing their way. South African all-rounder David Wiese, however, found his range and smashed 48 from 21 balls to put them well in charge at the break with 182 on board.
They held their nerve in the field, too. As any team should, of course, with Dilbar Hussain, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf in tandem. They went round the park early on but with such potent wicket-takers they knew they were always in the game.
Probable XI Tamim, Fakhar, Sohail, Hafeez, Dunk, Patel, Wiese, Faizan, Afridi, Rauf, Dilbar
2020 KK 151-0 (Sharjeel 74*) chased LQ 150-5 (Sohail 68, Arshad 2-15)
LQ 190-2 (Sohail 68*) chased KK 187-5 (Hales 80*)
2019 KK 134-5 chased LQ 133-5
LQ 138-6 defended KK 116 (Rauf 4-23)
Overall KK 6 LQ 4
Here are the first-innings scores (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second) from the National Stadium, Karachi in this tournament: 182-1/170-2/141-t/150-2/136-2/154-1/150-2/156-2/148-2/201-1/168-2. It looks a good surface for run-making and as we have said from ball one after the restart, 170 or more should be a minimum for the side batting first. It may also pay to take big numbers on 190 or 200 or more for small risk. Sportsbook go 5/4 that both teams score more than 160. That should see plenty of business.
Lahore can take charge
This is being billed as the best batting team (Karachi) versus the best bowling team (Lahore). It's not actually true, though. Lahore have a superior run rate with the bat to Karachi and an inferior economy rate in the field.
With batting power usually holding sway in the markets, it could be argued the match odds market has the wrong favourite with Kings at 1.804/5 and Lahore at 2.206/5.
But we're not averse to getting with Lahore. If they get that opportunity to bat first and put a score of 170 or more on the board then Kings are likely to find it tricky. Just as Multan made a fast start in the final eliminator the Afridi-Rauf-Dilbar axis got them in the end. At the least Lahore should trade short favourites.
Sportsbook have boosted Babar's price for top Kings bat to 23/10 (32% probability). It's not big enough to tempt us as his win rate is mid-20s.
Kings skipper Sohail Akhtar gets a 4/1 quote. Given his head-to-head record against Lahore it's not the worst price in the world.
Maqsood remains more potent than Amir in terms of strike rate for Kings so the 7/2 about most wickets is in underrated territory.