Lahore Qalandars take on Karachi Kings in the 18th match of the ongoing Pakistan Super League season in Dubai in what will be the first match of the double-header on Saturday.
Brendon McCullum's team, who are playing their last group game of the season, need a win to keep themselves in contention for the playoffs spot while the wooden-spoon team, Karachi, are in with a chance if they manage wins in their next two clashes, including today's match.
Lahore let go off an opportunity to get closer to a playoff spot when they lost yesterday's match against Peshawar Zalmi by 17 runs. After having won two of their last three games before Friday's tie, McCullum's men were outplayed in all the departments after losing the toss.
After conceding 166, the top six of Lahore contributed only 43 runs with Cameron Delport scoring 32 off those runs. While Umar Akmal and Grant Elliott have been consistent, their batting failures did not help Lahore yesterday. Skipper McCullum has moved back to the top of the order but nothing has changed as his highest score this season remains 25.
There is very little time for Lahore to address all these issues and the skipper needs to get a big one if they are to stand a chance of making past the group stages.
On the other hand, Kumar Sangakkara's men, after stitching a two-match winning streak, lost to Quetta Gladiators on Thursday and now find themselves in a tough situation, in which they need to win their last two games.
Defeating Lahore will give them all but a spot in the playoffs as they have a better Net Run Rate but a loss today will mean more trouble. Chris Gayle went past the 20s for the first time in the season on Thursday and Karachi will be well served if he plays a blinder today.
Pakistan: Ten Sports, PTV, Geo Super
Sri Lanka: Ten Sports, CSN
UK: Prime TV
West Indies: Flow TV
Bangladesh: Gazi TV
UAE: OSN Sports
Possible XI: Delport, McCullum (c), Zaman, U Akmal, Rizwan (wk), Irfan, Elliott, Narine, Tanvir, Yamin, Shah
Possible XI: Sangakkara (c & wk), Hasan, Gayle, Babar, Malik, Bopara, Pollard, Wasim, Amir, Sohail, Abrar