KARACHI: Karachi Kings captain Shan Mas­ood is unfazed by the apparent lack of big individual contributions from his team-mates. The batter, instead, is proud of how they have showed up when needed the most.

The former HBL Pakis­tan Super League (PSL) champions have kicked off this year’s campaign with two wins out of the three they have played so far and will make their first appea­rance at home this season when they face Islamabad United at the National Bank Stadium on Wednesday.

With the momentum on their back, the Kings will con­tinue what has been du­b­bed as their rebuilding sta­ge after a disastrous run last season, and Shan is excited to do it in front of home fans.

“We are very excited about playing in Karachi, it’s a new direction, a new team, and we are ready to play in front of the home fans,” he told reporters here on Tuesday. “It’s a special occasion for Karachi Kings, we’ve made a good start.

“But a good team is the one which learns from its mistakes and builds on its positives and the aim is to perform well in tomorrow’s match as well.”

Following their loss to Multan Sultans in their opening match, Karachi bounced back with wins against Peshawar Zalmi and Lahore Qalandars.

In both wins, Shan saw small performances from a number of his players reaping the results for the Kings.

While Mir Hamza and Hasan Ali shared six wickets between them and James Vince and Kieron Pollard took Karachi across the line in the Zalmi fixture, Pollard and Shoaib Malik secured the victory against the Qalandars.

Those are the performan­ces one could point out from a scorecard, but Shan appr­eciates even the minute acts of service by his players towards the team’s cause.

“The special thing for us so far is that there has been no one outstanding individual performance,” he said. “A number of players have given small performances, be it batting or bowling and most importantly fielding.

“A good quality for any team is that anyone can perform in any match. The tournament can be of 10 to 14 matches, and we will be happy if a player performs in two matches and the other performs well in the other two.”

Shan went on to mention how Karachi’s chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi went for 42 runs against Qalandars but took the crucial wicket of Shai Hope, who was threatening to take the game away from the Kings at that point.

He also lauded the South African spinner for conceding just two runs in his last over against Zalmi to bring the team back into the game and limited the Peshawar outfit to a lower total than the latter may have targeted.

Shan backed Moham­mad Nawaz despite the all-rounder’s struggles in his first season with Karachi and believed that his Pakistan team-mate had showed up when there had been an opportunity for him to make a difference.

Shan, who hasn’t been able to get going himself so far, said he hoped to put up a good show soon.

“I got starts in all three innings but sadly got out after that,” Shan said. “But once again somebody has to perform, and when I do, I hope it’s when the team needs it the most.”

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2024

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