Both Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings were on the brink of elimination but found themselves playing in the Emilinator 1 of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 in Abu Dhabi. The winners will inch closer to making the big final. (More Cricket News)
Islamabad United, who play the Qualifier against second-placed Multan Sultans in the first match of the Monday double-header, topped the points table with eight wins (16 points) in 10 matches. It's easy for them. But four teams finished with ten points each, and equal numbers of win-loss records.
Then it came down to the good old net run-rate to decide who join United in the playoffs. Here's how it stood: Sultans (+1.050), Zalmi (+0.586), Kings (-0.115) and Lahore Qalandars (-0.589).
Both Zalmi and Kings have had a forgettable league phase in Abu Dhabi. Zalmi won two (against Quetta Qalandars by 61 runs and Kings by six wickets) in five matches. But Kings, after losing three games on the trot since landing in the UAE, somehow finished the league phase with back-to-back wins -- against Qalandars by seven runs and Gladiators by 14 runs.
And as it happened, defending champions Kings, who entered the final day of the league phase as the fifth-placed side with eight points, knocked out last season's finalists and bitter rivals Qalandars with that win over already-eliminated Gladiators.
Kings, thus, earned a chance to defend the title. But the Imad Wasim-led outfit will first need to safely negotiate two elimination rounds.
For Wahab Riaz's Zalmi, this is another play-offs. They won the title in 2017 but lost back-to-back finals the following seasons.
The winners of the match meet losers of the Qualifier between United and Sultans for a place in the final.
Head-to-head: Zalmi lead the head-to-head record 9-5. This season, Kings beat Zalmi by six wickets in the 13th match in Karachi on March 3. But Zalmi avenged that defeat with a six-wicket victory in the 24th match in Abu Dhabi on June 15.
Match and telecast details
Match: Eliminator 1 of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 between Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings
Date: June 21 (Monday), 2021
Time: 11:30 PM IST/ 10:00 PM local
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE
TV Channels: Sony Pictures Network
Live Streaming: SonyLIV
Playing XIs in the last match
Peshawar Zalmi (vs Islamabad United): Hazratullah Zazai, Kamran Akmal (wk), Imam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford, Abrar Ahmed, Wahab Riaz (c), Umaid Asif, Waqar Salamkheil, Sameen Gul.
Karachi Kings (vs Quetta Gladiators): Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Martin Guptill, Najibullah Zadran, Chadwick Walton (wk), Imad Wasim (c), Noor Ahmad, Danish Aziz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Ilyas, Arshad Iqbal.
Peshawar Zalmi: Wahab Riaz (c), Abrar Ahmed, Amad Butt, Bismillah Khan, David Miller (partially available), Fabian Allen (partially available), Fidel Edwards (partially available), Haider Ali, Hazratullah Zazai, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Amir Khan, Mohammad Irfan Snr, Mohammad Imran Jnr, Mohammad Imran Randhawa, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford, Shoaib Malik, Umaid Asif and Waqar Salamkheil.
Karachi Kings: Imad Wasim (c), Abbas Afridi, Amir Yamin, Arshad Iqbal, Babar Azam, Chadwick Walton, Danish Aziz, Martin Guptill, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Haris, Thisara Perera, Najeebullah Zadran, Noor Ahmed, Qasim Akram, Sharjeel Khan, Waqas Maqsood and Zeeshan Malik.