Ignore chase bias at your peril

Karachi Kings v Lahore Qalandars
Sunday 28 February, 14:00
TV: live on Sky Sports

King Babar

Babar Azam turned on the afterburners just when Karachi Kings and toss bias punters needed it most on Saturday in the contest against Multan Sultans.

The chasing streak looked under threat when Multan had amassed 195. But there was no doubt Karachi would be in the hunt as soon as their innings started. Sharjeel Khan and Babar put a previous ponderous start behind them to go hell for leather. Babar never looked back, completing an unbeaten 90.

Kings are normally pretty tight with the ball and they may start to worry about Waqas Mahmood leaking big runs. He went for more than 11 this time.

Possible XI Sharjeel, Babar, Clarke, Ingram, Nabi, Christian, Wasim, Yamin, Waqas, Amir, Arshad

Lahore lose way

Lahore got on the wrong end of the toss bias against Multan Sultans they will argue. But some poor efforts with the bat hardly helped their cause. Captain Sohail Akhtar and Joe Denly need to do better.

Sohail scratched around for seven off 12 and then Denly clogged the innings with 31 off 29. That’s just no way quick enough when a team batting first is up against it with the chasing bias. Mohammad Hafeez did his best to rescue things but wickets after the drinks break meant 157 was never going to be enough.

If there is one side capable of busting the trend you would think it would be Lahore with their excellent bowling but Multan chased with more than three overs to spare. Rashid Khan remains sidelined with a busted finger.

Possible XI Fakhar, Sohail, Denly, Hafeez, Dunk, Patel, Wiese, Shaheen Afridi, Daniyal, Rauf, Mirza

Pitch report

All ten matches so far at the Karachi National Stadium in this PSL (not including Saturday’s late match) have been won by the chaser. So it is now 17 wins in the last 19 for the chaser at the venue. More than 160 has been busted nine times in 22 but runscoring in this edition is getting easier. In the last seven games more than 178 has been busted once and more than 190 four times.

We are keen on taking high numbers on first dig runs in the last two-three overs, looking for 30 or 40 on top at chunky odds.

Toss is vital

One would reckon that with nine straight matches won by the chasers (and the historic bias, too), the match odds market would keep the team batting second on side. Not so. Prior to Saturday’s matches there were average odds pre-chase of 2.9015/8 on the chaser.

So we cannot really fathom why Karachi are 1.674/6 and Lahore 2.0621/20. Perhaps when more money comes it will be a choice affair. It sure as hell should be. You can lay Karachi now at even if they did chase you’d probably be able to trade a position.

As ever, the advice is to take odds against in play or post toss about the team batting second. We see no reason to take on the trend.

Tops value

Babar has been consistent this term, raising hopes that he can keep up with Sultans’ Rizwan for top tournament runscorer. Babar went off at 5s and Rizwan 25s. Babar is on 176 with Rizwan on 231.

The Karachi opener is 2/1 for top Karachi bat and 9/2 for another man of the match award. Sportsbook go 10/11 he scores 26.5 or more.

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