DUBAI, UAE (CMC):Kieron Pollard smashed sixes off the last two deliveries of the game to fire Karachi Kings to a dramatic five-wicket win over Lahore Qalanders and keep alive their hopes of a playoff spot in the Pakistan Super League.Chasing 156 for victory at the Dubai International Stadium yesterday, Kings entered the final over requiring 14 runs for victory, with Pollard on strike, and the West Indies batsman finally proved his worth in gold for the franchise.He gathered a couple in the deep off the first delivery bowled by seamer Aamer Yamin, managed a single off the next ball but was handed the strike again quickly when Imad Wasim took a single off the third ball.Pollard was kept scoreless off the fourth ball, leaving Kings with 10 runs needed from the last two balls, but the Trinidadian cleared the ropes at long off with the fifth delivery before depositing the final delivery over square leg to pull off a sensational win.The right-hander finished unbeaten on 45 from a mere 20 deliveries with a four and four sixes, while prolific opener Babar Azam top-scored with 49 from 42 balls.Babar and captain Kumar Sangakkara (20) had added 53 for the second wicket to put Kings on course for victory before four wickets tumbled for 23 runs in the space of 24 deliveries.Pollard and Imad Wasim (19 not out) then rescued the innings in an unbroken 55-run, sixth-wicket partnership.NARINE BRILLIANTPollard’s West Indies counterpart and fellow Trinidadian, Sunil Narine, was brilliant in his four overs of off-spin, taking one for 19.Sent in earlier, Qalanders were carried by an unbeaten 32 from Mohammad Rizwan and 31 from captain and opener Brendon McCullum, while Narine lashed two sixes in a six-ball 19, batting at number five.Kings moved into fourth spot in the standings on six points, but a defeat in the remaining preliminary game on Sunday could see them eliminated.In the other game, neither captain Darren Sammy (0) nor Marlon Samuels (7) had much of an impact, but Peshawar Zalmi still managed to beat Quetta Gladiators by two wickets, with four balls left in their final game, to go top of the table.
Chelsea, in third place, will attempt to stay on the coat-tails of the top two away at Southampton while fourth-placed Tottenham host Cardiff.Mourinho is desperate for something to go his way as Manchester United’s season threatens to unravel but at least has the comfort of facing struggling Newcastle.– Guardiola battles Anfield factor –Liverpool v Manchester City on Sunday is the blockbuster fixture this weekend, pitching first against second, with both sides putting their unbeaten records on the line.City lead Liverpool on goal difference but are without a Premier League win at fortress Anfield for 15 years and travel with the painful memory of three defeats against the Reds last season.Eden Hazard has scored seven times for Chelsea this season © AFP/File / Glyn KIRKJurgen Klopp’s men are stuttering for the first time this campaign — Wednesday’s last-gasp defeat to Napoli was their third match in succession without a victory.City boss Pep Guardiola said he believed in his players despite the daunting task ahead of them.“I know how they fight,” he said. “Go to Anfield, win, lose, whatever. It’s a long time ago Man City was able to win at Anfield. What I want to see is the team alive, and we are alive.”– Hazard’s hot streak –Eden Hazard has scored six goals in his past five Premier League games but his form has papered over the cracks at Stamford Bridge, with Olivier Giroud looking toothless in front of goal and Alvaro Morata also enduring a goal drought until Thursday’s 1-0 Europa League win over Vidi.Coach Maurizio Sarri, who has talked up Hazard as one of the best players in the world, is nevertheless dangerously reliant on the Belgian playmaker, who scored Chelsea’s goal against Liverpool in last week’s 1-1 draw.This Sunday, the Blues visit struggling Southampton, lifted by their midweek League Cup victory on penalties against Everton, with French World Cup winner Giroud looking to break his duck this season.– Spurs focus on Premier League after Messi mauling –Tottenham return to Premier League action after their Champions League hopes were severely dented by an inspired Lionel Messi in midweek.Mauricio Pochettino’s men are in fourth spot on 15 points, just four behind Manchester City and Liverpool, and will fancy their chances at Wembley against lowly Cardiff.Jose Mourinho is under pressure at Manchester United after a string of bad results © AFP / Lindsey PARNABYPochettino has spoken about how only winning the Premier League or Champions League will take the club to a different level and has not given up on the prospect of European success this season, but he knows the domestic title is a more realistic prospect.– Will Mourinho mix it up? –Manchester United have scored just 10 goals in seven Premier League games and their blunt forward line faces a challenge to break down Rafael Benitez’s defence-minded Newcastle at Old Trafford on Saturday.Mourinho’s midfield Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini are a formidable unit and well-suited for a physical battle.But the under-fire manager might be tempted to pick somebody to pick the lock against Newcastle, perhaps turning to the likes of Juan Mata or one of his other creative link men.Fellaini said the whole dressing room is behind Mourinho but there is a growing sense the Portuguese boss is on borrowed time.– Leno’s chance to justify price tag –Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno will get his chance against Fulham to show why the Gunners paid around £19 million ($25 million) to sign him, with Petr Cech facing a spell on the sidelines after a hamstring injury.The German goalkeeper, 26, will be in the Premier League starting line-up for the first time for Arsenal, who are on an impressive run of eight straight wins in all competitions.With 36-year-old Cech in the twilight of his career, this could be a major chance for Leno to secure the number one spot for the long-term.Fixtures (1400 GMT unless stated)FridayBrighton v West Ham (1900)SaturdayBurnley v Huddersfield, Crystal Palace v Wolves, Leicester v Everton, Tottenham v Cardiff, Watford v Bournemouth, Manchester United v Newcastle (1630)SundayFulham v Arsenal (1100), Southampton v Chelsea (1315), Liverpool v Manchester City (1530)0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) pits his wits against Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola in the Premier League this weekend © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFLONDON, United Kingdom, Oct 5 – Liverpool will be banking on the Anfield factor to propel them to victory against Manchester City this weekend as Jose Mourinho desperately tries to stop the rot at Manchester United.Despite becoming a major force in recent years, City have a miserable record at Liverpool, where they have not won in the Premier League since 2003.