HBL PSL 7: Here's how things stand as action shifts to Lahore

After successfully hosting the first 15 matches of the tournament, the action will be now be shifted from Karachi to Lahore from February 10

HBL PSL 7: Here's how things stand as action shifts to Lahore PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Quetta Gladiators' impressive victory against Lahore Qalandars in the 15th match marked an end of the first leg of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2022.

After successfully hosting the first 15 matches of the tournament, the action will be now be shifted from Karachi to Lahore from February 10.

The two-day break in between will allow teams to regroup and complete their planning as Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators, and Karachi Kings have a lot of catching up to do.

Here is how things currently stand:


This is how the points table looks like after the conclusion of #HBLPSL7 Karachi-leg

Which teams will end up as the top four? 👀#LevelHai pic.twitter.com/xM7hwcxXtc

— Cricket Pakistan (@cricketpakcompk) February 8, 2022


1. Multan Sultans — 10 pts

Defending champions Multan Sultans are comfortably leading the way in the HBL PSL 7 as they sit at the top of the table with five wins out of five games.

The Mohammad Rizwan-led team has registered some dominant performances as they have posted a score of more than 200+ runs three times on the board. The bowling department seems to be in tune with the requirements while Rizwan's calm demeanor has added to the list of all the things which are working for the Sultans.

The Multan squad is filled with talent but two performers which have delivered a pleasant surprise have been Shan Masood and Khushdil Shah; the left-arm opening batsman has adapted brilliantly to transform himself into a seasonal T20 cricketer whereas the proper utilisation of Khushdil has allowed him to blossom as a wicket-taking option along with being someone who can hit big.

2. Islamabad United — 6 pts

Islamabad United have had fluctuating performances; they registered a win in their opening fixture, suffered a 20-run defeat against Sultans, cruised past Quetta Gladiators in the third game, surrendered to Qalandars in the fourth game, and returned to winning ways in the fifth game.

The team has shown great promise thus far but fell short due to their own failures. The two-day break is exactly what United needs at this point to sit down as a unit together and tinker with their plans. United have always had a very methodical approach, which is why the losses against Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars will not sting as bad because a lot of positives can be taken away from two games against perhaps the most promising franchises of PSL 7.

Paul Stirling will not be traveling to Lahore due to national team commitments while Liam Dawson is fully expected to come in as his replacement. His absence, however, might not bother United as much since skipper Shadab Khan has found the form of his lifetime; he has been scoring runs, taking regular wickets, and making all the right decisions on the field.

3. Lahore Qalandars — 6 pts

Leading a franchise for the first time ever, Shaheen Afridi has shown great promise in the first leg of the PSL 7 campaign as they are tied on points with Islamabad United but with a worse net run-rate (NRR).

Sharing an identical win-loss ratio to Islamabad United, Qalandars losses were sandwiched between three successive victories. Through no fault of their own, Qalandars have lost both games where they posted a score of more than 200 runs whereas winning the rest without crossing that barrier.

Fakhar Zaman is perhaps the biggest standout performer for the Qalandars as he is the highest run-scorer so far with 356 runs at a massive average of 71.20.

4. Quetta Gladiators — 4 pts

The Gladiators have had an extremely poor run to their HBL PSL 7 campaign as they have won two out of their first five games. The Sarfaraz-led team has had a lot of captaincy criticism aimed towards to the team due to some subjectively questionable bowling decisions; this has crippled Quetta to stand a competitive edge after they had a respectable draft phase.

With the introduction of Iftikhar Ahmed, a seasoned vetran who recently helped his domestic side Khyber to glory, the expectations were always high from Quetta. Due to lack of planning, poor homework, fused with a lack of vision - the Gladiators have failed to achieve those expectations. Against Islamabad United, Iftikhar came at 6th position, something that not many can back easily.

Sarfaraz Ahmed is not a marquee batter yet he has scored the most runs for the franchise in the past year; this implies that the problem had existed from beforehand but the Gladiators management has failed to firstly recognise that and then rectify that.

With Jason Roy's arrival, who scored a blistering century in a winning effort on his debut, the Gladiators can look to bounce back now.

5. Peshawar Zalmi — 4 pts

Similar to Quetta Gladiators, the Zalmi have also struggled massively but due to different reasons. The franchise suffered an early blow when their premium pick Hazratullah Zazai contracted Covid-19 and missed the early part of the tournament. Zalmi also lost their captain Wahab Riaz due to the same reason, which completely disrupted their plans and it shows in their standings.

Zalmi managed to beat Karachi Kings and Quetta Gladiators, two very underwhelming sides, and perhaps is not enough for anyone to be convinced.

Shoaib Malik has fared better than most players in the Yellow Storm camp as he has contributed with the bat, bowl, and even in the field. However, the Zalmi side is lacking consistency and a clear plan.

The crowd is eagerly waiting for likes of Liam Livingstone back in action as he is someone who can not only add a much-needed depth in the Zalmi squad but also possesses the power to singlehandedly change the tie; with both the bowling and batting.

6. Karachi Kings — 0 pts

Undoubtedly the team which has suffered the most has been Karachi Kings. After appointing Babar Azam as captain, the Kings had hoped for a change of fortune but not the one where they would lose all five of their Karachi-leg matches.

The winless Kings in HBL PSL 7 are as good as out of the tournament after suffering defeats to all the rest of the franchises. To pile more misery on them, the Kings have also lost main pacers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Ilyas due to injuries.

Things are looking extremely difficult for Karachi Kings with the owner, Salman Iqbal, already making public statements and apologising for the franchise's poor performances.