PSL 2023 playoffs: Are Quetta Gladiators and Karachi Kings still in qualification race?

Defending champions Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United through to next stage

Karachi Kings' Mohammad Amir celebrates after taking the wicket of Islamabad United's Colin Munro during their PSL match. AFP
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The Pakistan Super League is approaching a critical phase with the fight for four playoff spots intensifying.

Defending champions Lahore Qalandars became the first team to qualify for the playoffs after they defeated Multan Sultans by 21 runs on Saturday.

Lahore have won six of seven matches already, which was enough to ensure passage into the next round.

Against Multan, Sam Billings (54) and Abdullah Shafique (48) lifted Lahore’s total to 180-9.

Leg-spinner Rashid Khan landed the knockout blow during Multan’s chase with 3-15 as last year’s runners-up were restricted to 159-7.

On Sunday, Islamabad United became the second team to qualify for the playoffs after they secured a tense two-wicket win over Quetta Gladiators.

That leaves four teams to fight it out for the two remaining spots in the next stage of the tournament.

PSL 2023 playoffs qualification scenario

While Lahore and Islamabad are definitely through, other teams still have a shot of making it to the next round.

Multan have four wins from seven games and have room to manoeuvre as they need just one more win from three games to progress.

Peshawar Zalmi have three wins and as many defeats, which means they are still firmly in the race. However, Karachi Kings (two wins, six defeats) and Quetta (one win and six losses) are in a precarious position.

Last year, Islamabad qualified for the next phase with four wins and six defeats. They edged out Quetta in the playoffs race by a fraction on net run rate, with both sides tied on number of wins and defeats.

That means either Karachi or Quetta can make the cut this year if they achieve four wins by the end of the opening stage, provided Multan and Peshawar don't reach five wins. Peshawar and Multan face each other on Friday.

But no matter how the qualification race pans out, it is clear Quetta have fallen off a cliff. They started PSL as the strongest team, finishing as runners-up in the first two seasons and winning the fourth. However, in the past three seasons the Gladiators have finished either dead last or second last.

Quetta and Karachi will know on Monday if their disappointing PSL campaigns has any life left when they face off in a bottom-of-the-table clash.

Remaining fixtures of PSL 2023

March 6: Quetta Gladiators v Karachi Kings, Rawalpindi (6pm)

Mar 7: Peshawar Zalmi v Lahore Qalandars, Rawalpindi (1pm); Islamabad United v Multan Sultans, Rawalpindi (6pm)

Mar 8: Peshawar Zalmi v Quetta Gladiators, Rawalpindi (6pm)

Mar 9: Islamabad United v Lahore Qalandars, Rawalpindi (6pm)

Mar 10: Peshawar Zalmi v Multan Sultans, Rawalpindi (6pm)

Mar 11: Quetta Gladiators v Multan Sultans, Rawalpindi (6pm)

Mar 12: Islamabad United v Peshawar Zalmi, Rawalpindi (1pm); Lahore Qalandars v Karachi Kings, Lahore (6pm)

Mar 15: Qualifier 1, Lahore (6pm)

Mar 16: Eliminator, Lahore (6pm)

Mar 17: Qualifier 2 Lahore (6pm)

Mar 19: Final, Lahore (6pm)

Updated: March 07, 2023, 11:35 AM