Karachi Kings captain Imad Wasim in action during a training session ahead of their match against Multan Sultans.
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
The Abu Dhabi leg of the PLS-6, which was suspended in March, was resumed on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The tournament got under way with the Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United match. The tournament was suspended after the outbreak of coronavirus in a bio-secure bubble in Pakistan in March. The remaining matches will be played in the UAE with strict safety protocols to complete the tourney. In the second match, defending champions Karachi Kings will lock horns with Multan Sultans, who are in fifth place in six-team league.
Kings captain Imad Wasim played down the favourites tag despite being on the top and termed it as a new beginning.
Imad said: “We played really well in Karachi. Others also played beautifully and there is nothing in any team that could separate them from others.
“But now we are starting again as it is a new leg and our team has also changed. We have to gear up again and get the momentum going. All teams have equal opportunity,” he added.
Four of the six teams are tied on the points with each of them having six points apiece in their kitty. The teams are separated by a net run rate not points.
He also ruled out that his team has been depleted by the absence of the some key players from the first leg. Because of the suspension of the tourney mid-way, many players have gone on national duty and are not available.
“We have Martin Guptill, Najibullah Zardan and Kushal Perera. So, I think we have a strong middle-order, albeit I can come up or down the order according to the situation,” he added.
“Winning and losing are the part of the game. We lost to Lahore Qalandars in our last game. They are a good team but that loss will have no bearing on performance here.
“It is a new start and different condition. There is heat and dew, so the ball may remain low and pitches flat. So no team has any advantage, neither we, nor any else,” apprised Imad.
Meanwhile, Sultans coach Andy Flower asserted it is a new beginning and they are looking forward to exploit the chance to their advantage.
“We would like to be further up the table at the halfway mark but that is not the case and that is the reality. The first leg in Karachi was tough for all the defending teams. The only game lost by the chasing side was the very last game,” said Flower.
“We have been given a chance to start afresh and that is how we have been looking at it,” he added.
Talking about the new combination, Flower sounded confident and vowed to put up a strong performance.
“We have got a slightly different side like most of the sides with some enforced changes. But we have got some of the very exciting talents.
“So we have been looking forward to the Abu Dhabi leg. It is a brilliant effort by the PCB and the organisers to shift it here in such a short period of time. It is great to be here,” he said.
He also predicted that the toss can play an important role in Abu Dhabi as well like Karachi.
“Toss played a crucial role in all the matches. Most of the time the result went with the toss and I think we won only one toss.
“I told my team ‘don’t be distracted and dominated by the toss. We should break that rhythm.’ Unfortunately we broke it in the wrong way, we only lost the match after winning the toss.
“But you cannot get distracted by the fact that the result went with the toss. And the toss is likely to play an important role here as well due to the dew factor. Ultimately if you are playing outstanding cricket you can win a game whether batting first or second,” he stressed.
He also praised the young Rizwan for his batting exploits in the first leg.
“In the first half, we really batted well or we would not have chased down that target. Rizwan led that charge form the front wonderfully.
“And it is wonderful to watch a player like Rizwan show what you can do with the skills and understanding of the game,” said the former Zimbabwe captain.
“The area where we lacked was wicket taking upfront and in back-end our death bowling was not as skilful as you want it to be to defend the total on flat pitches with a fast outfield and a bit of dew around.
“It is a big challenge for a bowler. We were not quite good enough in those areas and that is very obvious,” he informed.
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