Pakistan Super League Tips: The batters and bowlers to trust

Babar Azam
Babar tops the charts

Ed Hawkins uncovers the five batsmen and five bowlers who have the best win rates on the tops markets in the PSL...

"The Pakistan skipper went past Mohammad Rizwan as tournament top runscorer. He now has a 17-run lead..."

Top five batsmen

Babar Azam 28 matches/35.7% win rate

Babar is a regular in the most reliable lists for T20. And he has copped already, top scoring for Karachi Kings in their opening defeat by Peshawar Zalmi. Babar finished unbeaten on 85 as (somehow) he failed to get them home in a chase of 177 against Multan Sultans.

The opener will likely take some criticism but he might point to the ludicrous decision to pick up Martin Guptill in the re-draft and use him at number three. Guptill managed 11 from 16 balls and torpedoed the chase.

Not that Babar backers will really care. The Pakistan skipper also went past Mohammad Rizwan as tournament top runscorer. He now has a 17-run lead. Going forward Babar should be around the 7/4 mark for individual honours but we'd be surprised if he got as short.

Mohammad Rizwan 13/28.4%

Talking of Rizwan, the Multan Sultans opener is in the form of his life. His surge has caused a selection headache for Pakistan as they try to work out how best to fit in Babar and Fakhar Zaman to the line-up.

In 16 matches in 2021 he is striking at 140 and he averages 78. The upturn in fortunes is purely down to opportunity. He switched to opener halfway through 2020 and is now making the most of the chance to bat for the longest time in the most advantageous conditions.

Whether we will be able to bet him, however, is a different matter. The win rate suggests he should be 5/2. There is a chance we might get 11/4 at some stage, though, or certainly in-play with a boundary from his opening partner.

Shoaib Malik 25/28%

Shoaib has a win in his first outing of the re-started PSL, top-scoring with 73 for Zalmi against Qalandars. We're unlikely to follow him in at the next opportunity but we will be keeping a very close eye on form and price.

Against Qalandars he batted at number three and he could be a player who moves up and down the order. David Miller and Rovman Powell are players who could be tried in that role, too, depending on the sort of start Zalmi has had.

Haider Ali 16/25%

Haider is one of the most interesting potential wagers. As we called on Cricket...Only Bettor, he has been promoted to opening after being wasted in the middle and lower order. It gives us a tremendous opportunity to get with him, so long as Sportsbook are slow to react to the promotion. There was 5/1 available before Zalmi's clash against Lahore.

Mohammad Hafeez 21/23.8%

Mohammad Hafeez is a staple 4/1 wager to top score for Lahore. We're slightly irked that he's not copped yet and he's a little too close to comfort to dipping to the 20% line. He should really have won last time out with the innings at his mercy.

Top five bowlers

Arshad Iqbal 13 matches/61.5% return rate

At just 20, Arshad is another off the seemingly endless production line of Pakistan pace bowlers. And in taking our number one position he probably surprises as many punters as he does batters. He is guaranteed value because Mohammad Amir, Waqas Maqsood and probably Imad Wasim will go off shorter for top Kings bower.

Waqas Maqsood 10/50

A Waq atack is guaranteed at some stage during the PSL with that return rate (win and ties). Waqas essentially bowls as fast as he can and to the hell with the consequences. He is therefore expensive. But expensive for layers, too, because they are distracted by Amir who doesn't come close to value.

Muhammad Hasnain 21/47

Hasnain is beginning to add control to a game which boasts a record of a wicket every 17 balls in the franchise game. He should be favourite for top Quetta bowler but was pipped by Usman Shinwari in their first game. So we have recommended a two-point bet in their first match. It won't be the last time.

Hasan Ali 28/46.4%

Hasan will go off as favourite at no better than 9/4 but he has very little to beat now that Faheem Ashraf has been ruled out for three matches with a hand injury. Hasan, a bit like Rizwan, has enjoyed a resurgence and gives the Pakistan selectors a headache about how they can find room for such an array of bowling talent.

Shaheen Shah Afridi 27/44.4%

Afridi has had a quiet start to the tournament with two blanks on top Lahore bowler. It is surely only a matter of time, however, that he picks up a winner. Despite Pakistan's wealth of bowling talent, he is the one who is guaranteed a berth. He has it all - pace, poise and a perfect action.

Ed Hawkins P-L

2021: +33.25
2020: +5.91
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. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l

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