Peshawar Zalmi will be on guard against Karachi Kings, who are peaking at the right time, as the two teams meet in the last play-off in Dubai on Friday (March 3).
The winner will join Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League final on Sunday.
Last year, Peshawar lost to Quetta in the same stage of the play-offs by four runs, but Shahid Afridi, their former captain, hoped things would be different this time.
“We know the importance of this match and we want to play the final and win the trophy, so we are aiming to cross the first hurdle against a dangerous Karachi side, who have now got a good rhythm,” he said.
“We need not commit the same mistakes that we did against Quetta in the last game and [need to] be at our best.”
Peshawar squandered a good chance to reach the final in the first play-offs when they lost by one run to Quetta, after needing just two off the last three balls. Mohammad Nawaz, the Quetta spinner, dismissed Chris Jordan, Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali to help them clinch a thriller.
Karachi are also eyeing a spot in the final, having lost to Islamabad, the eventual champions, in the eliminator last year.
They lost one game against Peshawar by seven wickets, but won the return game by nine runs.
Karachi seem to have peaked at the right time, winning their last three games. Imad Wasim and Usama Mir, the spinners, grabbed three wickets apiece, while Mohammad Amir returned to his best with 3 for 7 as Karachi defended a 127-run target on Wednesday against Islamabad United.
All the top notches in the PSL charts are from Karachi with Babar Azam the leading scorer, Sohail Khan the leading wicket-taker, Kieron Pollard the best fielder and Kumar Sangakkara the best wicketkeeper.
Said Wasim, “We are getting there in terms of winning and putting the best combination. We will be at our best on Friday as we know that’s the last hurdle before the final.”