KARACHI: Coming from a defeat in their first match of second Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 6’s leg, Karachi Kings now look forward to turning the tables when they meet table-toppers Islamabad United today in Abu Dhabi at 9 pm (PST).
While chasing 177 runs against Multan Sultans, Kings had the wonderful support of Babar Azam in batting but they fell 13 runs short to victory. Babar scored 85 runs but proper momentum seemed lacking in the match which cost them a defeat.
With a loss at the hands of Sultans, the Kings dropped down on the points table and settled at fourth last night with six points in as many matches.
Whereas, United are psychologically strong with a recent win at the back against Lahore Qalandars the other day. The fire-power from Asif Ali and Iftikhar Ahmed held Qalandars’ bowlers busy in the ground.
Both the teams have their top-order stable. Babar Azam and Sharjeel Khan will be lethal for Kings as they hold the record of highest opening partnership in PSL. They scored 176 runs against the same team in the first leg of PSL 6.
Whilst, United will be having strong combination of openers Colin Munro and Usman Khuwaja who led their team to a 10-wickets victory against Quetta Gladiators and a top spot on the leaders’ table.
Munro was phenomenal with his 90-not-out with the help of five sixes and 12 boundaries whereas Usman anchored a quick 40 off 27 laced with six boundaries and a six. The duo helped their team chase 134 runs in just 10 overs.
Martin Guptill is a potent addition to Kings’ batting order and he can be as supportive for middle-order as for top-order. The Kiwi batsman is known for his hard-hitting in power-play and even in middle-overs.
He will be joined by Afghanistan’s power-hitter Najibullah Zadran and West Indian Chadwick Walton who can give a handy option to Kings. Thisara Perera, Imad Wasim, and Qasim Akram are fruitful options for Kings to race the score in the end.
United will be joined by Shadab Khan, Rohail Nazir, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Asif Ali in the middle-order. These batsmen are equally capable of scoring runs and putting their team in the driving seat.
Asif and Iftikhar have gained form finally against Qalandars the other day which would be a confidence booster for two-time PSL champions.
Mohammad Amir will lead the pace attack of Kings with the likes of Arshad Iqbal, Thisara Perera, and Waqas Maqsood. If they bring in Aamir Yamin, he can be a good bowling option for the team. Qasim Akram and Imad Wasim are the two liable options in spin bowling.
Hasan Ali will be joined by Mohammad Waseem Jr, Muhammad Musa, and Akif Javed in United’s pace battery, backed up by regular leg-spinner Shadab Khan and part-timer Iftikhar Ahmed.
United had won the first game in this year’s PSL against Kings. However, the overall record also keeps United ahead of Kings. Both teams faced each other in 14 PSL contests so far, United have won nine whereas Kings have won 6.