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In the opening match of the Pak T20 League 2021, defending champions Karachi Kings are up against Quetta Gladiators at the National Stadium in Karachi on Saturday evening. 

Karachi Kings come into this new campaign after winning their first-ever trophy in the 2020 edition. They will be determined to defend their crown this season.  

Led by I Wasim, the Kings have some key players such as B Azam and M Amir on the team. B Azam was the standout player and the top run scorer last season. C Ingram, Z Malik, and C Walton are good middle-order batsmen in this format. T20 specialists M Nabi and D Christian add great batting depth to the line-up as all-rounders. W Maqsood and A Iqbal, along with others, make it a strong bowling attack for Karachi Kings.

On the other hand, Quetta Gladiators are coming from a disappointing campaign last year as they failed to make it to the knockout phase. The 2019 champions will be desperate to bounce back and go further into the tournament this time.

Big-hitters C Gayle and T Banton will lead their batting, with F du Plessis, Azam Khan, skipper S Ahmed and B Cutting coming in in the middle order. They have a good bowling attack with the likes of M Hasnain and N Shah in the side. M Nawaz, Z Mehmood and A Ali are expected to provide them with good support. On paper, it seems like one of the strongest bowling line-ups in the tournament.

Quetta Gladiators have done well against Karachi Kings in the past. It will be interesting to see if the Kings are able to put that record behind them and start with a win in the opening match of this year’s tournament.

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Match Details

  • Match: Karachi Kings vs Quetta Gladiators, Match 1
  • Venue: National Stadium, Karachi
  • Date & Time: Feb. 20, 2021, at 7.30 PM IST

Probable Playing XI

Karachi Kings

B Azam, S Khan, C Ingram, Z Malik, M Nabi, C Walton (WK), D Christian, I Wasim (C), W Maqsood, M Amir, A Iqbal

Quetta Gladiators

C Gayle, T Banton, F du Plessis, A Khan, C Delport, B Cutting, S Ahmed (C & WK), M Nawaz, M Hasnain, Z Mehmood, A Ali

Pitch & Weather Report

The weather is expected to be mostly clear in Karachi during the match. The temperature will be around 25 degrees during the game.

The pitch at the National Stadium is a good batting wicket. Fast bowlers have struggled here in the past as there is hardly anything on the surface for them, especially for the new ball. Spinners have enjoyed success as the ball turns and gets difficult to time. The average score in the last five T20 games played here has been 155 runs.

The chasing team has won 4 of the last 5 T20 games played here. Since the pitch will get better in the second half of the match with dew coming down, the captain winning the toss is expected to opt to bowl first. A score of around 175 runs should be a competitive one here.

Key Players

  • B Azam was the top run scorer of the last season of the tournament, with 473 runs at an average of 59.12. He looked in good touch in the final T20I against South Africa and will be looking to start the tournament with a big score.
  • C Ingram has the record of the highest individual score in the Pak T20 League history. He smashed 127 runs off just 59 balls, including 12 fours and 8 sixes, against Quetta Gladiators in the 2019 season. He was in decent form during the recently concluded Australian T20 League.
  • D Christian is capable of contributing to both batting and bowling departments. He has picked up crucial wickets in the past and is also a match winner with the bat. He is coming here after a successful campaign with the Sydney S in the Australian T20 League.
  • A Khan is a dynamic young batsman for the Gladiators. He has a career strike rate of 159.65 and the highest score of 88 after 31 T20 games. Expect him to start the tournament with a big knock.  
  • T Banton is another young player who is very hard-hitting and has a lot of potential. He has a career average of 28.48 and a strike rate of 152.4 after 42 T20 games. He can score big and quick at the top of the order for the Gladiators.
  • M Hasnain was the second-highest wicket taker in the last season, with 15 wickets in 9 matches at an average of 19.13. He has been in good form with the white ball, taking 9 wickets in his last five List A games.

Howzat Dream Team

  • Wicketkeeper: A Khan
  • Batsmen: B Azam, C Ingram, Z Malik, T Banton, C Delport
  • All-rounders: D Christian, I Wasim
  • Bowlers: W Maqsood, M Hasnain, Z Mehmood
  • Captain: B Azam/D Christian
  • Vice Captain: T Banton/A Khan

NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy 11, and play real cricket online game. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.

Get fantasy cricket tips on your favorite fantasy sports app and select your own team, Howzat!

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