The sixth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2021) will kick off in Karachi with a battle between the defending champions Karachi Kings and the Quetta Gladiators. The Karachi Kings start as the favorites because they have the home advantage at the National Stadium.
Karachi played host to the PSL 2020 playoffs a few months ago. The Karachi Kings captured the title then, after registering victories over the Multan Sultans and the Lahore Qalandars in the playoffs. The wicket at the National Stadium is equally helpful to the batsmen and the bowlers.
200+ scores are rare in Karachi, and the average first innings score in T20s here is 168. Babar Azam has scored 165 T20I runs in three outings at the National Stadium. His average on this ground is 82.50, while his strike rate is 148.65.
Mohammad Amir is the most successful bowler in T20Is at the National Stadium. The left-arm quick has taken five wickets in two matches. Meanwhile, leg-spinner Shadab Khan has also picked up five wickets in three games.
T20 records at the National Stadium in Karachi
In the last T20 match played at this stadium, the Lahore Qalandars posted 134 runs on the board in the first innings. Tamim Iqbal top-scored with a 38-ball 35, and Fakhar Zaman contributed 27 runs. Left-arm pacer Waqas Maqsood was the pick of the bowlers with 2/18 in four overs.
In reply, the Karachi Kings chased 135 runs in 18.4 overs. Babar Azam led the run-chase with an unbeaten 50. Dilbar Hussain and Haris Rauf took two wickets each for the Lahore Qalandars.
With the National Stadium set to host the first 20 matches of PSL 2021 in Karachi, here's a look at some significant numbers you need to know before the tournament begins.
Stadium name: National Stadium
T20 matches played: 20
Matches won by teams batting first: 8
Matches won by teams batting second: 12
Matches tied: 0
Highest team score: 238/3 - Islamabad United vs. Lahore Qalandars, 2019
Lowest team score: 134/7 - Lahore Qalandars vs. Karachi Kings, 2020
Average 1st innings score: 168