Lahore Qalandars can no longer qualify for the Pakistan Super League 2018 play-offs, thanks to Quetta Gladiators' victory over Peshawar Zalmi last night.
The Qalandars, with just two points to their name after seven matches, can no longer accumulate enough points out of the remaining league fixtures to earn a place in the tournament's next stage.
The development effectively renders tonight's clash with Karachi Kings a dead rubber for them. But this could work one of the two ways for the Qalandars.
They could either lose all their motivation and go from worse to even more worse. Alternatively, they could find themselves unburdened from all the pressure and finally live up to the expectations.
The Rana Fawad-owned side did snap their eight-match losing streak in their last outing, defeating Multan Sultans and opening their account for the tournament. So things are looking up for them a little bit, although all he batting problems that have plagued him so far in the tournament were evident in that match too.
Like the Qalandars, their opponents too are coming off a victory over the Sultans. But unlike theirs, the Kings' win was a thumping one. The port city side dominated the expansion franchise from start to finish, inflicting on them a heavy 63-run defeat.
The Kings had lost two consecutive before that game — a sequence that ended an air of invincibility about them. The Imad Wasim-led side, however, looked back to their very best against the Sultans, clicking in all three departments and signalling that they are still among top contenders for the PSL 2018 title.
The Qalandars' inherent flaws mean that they can't be backed in any fixture anymore. Add to the equation the Kings' impressive return to form and another Karachi win seems the most likely outcome from this clash.