Karachi started their campaign with a narrow seven-run win over Multan Sultans but since then have not been at their best, losing to Lahore Qalandars by 22 runs, against Peshawar by 44 runs and by seven wickets against defending champions Islamabad United.
“It’s not good to lose three matches in a row but we still have six games and we will do our best to return to winning ways,” said skipper Imad Wasim.
Since the first match when Liam Livingstone (82) and Babar Azam (77) put on 157 runs — a new HBL PSL record — for the opening wicket, not one batsman has posted a score of over 50, the best being 49 not out by Australian Ben Dunk.
The strong bowling attack comprising of Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari and Sohail Khan have also been lacking the bite they are famous for. Amir took four wickets in the first match and since had only two in the remaining three matches.
He went for 35 in three overs against a rampaging Luke Ronchi and Samit Patel on Saturday while Shinwari conceded 29 in two overs.
That may force the team management to bring in Australian Aaron Summers for his first match. He bowls at 150kph and would be an interesting option.
In contrast, Quetta have won all their four games and have one step in the playoffs. They won all their matches while chasing, winning by six, seven, eight and three wickets respectively.
It would be interesting if Sarfraz Ahmed loses the toss and is forced to bat first.
Quetta have in form batsmen in Shane Watson, Rilee Rossouw and Umar Akmal and when all three failed in the Lahore game on Saturday, Sarfraz came to his team’s rescue with a last-ball six during his unbeaten match-winning half-century.
Quetta also have a potent pace attack with young Ghulam Mudassar and veteran Sohail Tanvir taking wickets for them.