|Finished.196/4 (20) - 197/5 (19.1)|
Despite trouncing the Quetta Gladiators, reigning champions Karachi Kings’ lead was claimed yesterday by the team they beat to gain that title. However, they are still miles ahead in terms of net run rate, and if they win the next match, they’ll be back on top once more. That won’t be easy, though, as Islamabad United look much more composed and resolute than last year. In their first match, they had a hard-fought victory against the Multan Sultans, and will be looking to stay in the top half of the table with another win. Before the action begins, let’s take a look at the two teams.
Imad Wasim (c), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Daniel Christian, Joe Clarke (wk), Mohammad Nabi, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Waqas Maqsood, Arshad Iqbal.
Preview and form
Given the sheer number of changes in the team, fans may have been worried about the Kings not being able to perform at a champion level, but after their first match, most people are probably more in awe of them than ever before. In their first match, every single bowler struck to limit the Gladiators to a pathetic 121, with Arshad Iqbal and Waqas Maqsood taking 3 and 2 wickets respectively. On the chase, Babar Azam’s 24 gave them a good start, but it was Joe Clarke’s 46 and Mohammad Nabi’s 30 that got KK to their target speedily, with the champions winning the match with 7 wickets in hand and 6.1 overs to go.
Babar Azam: Babar didn’t have to do much last match, but he’ll be in his element as soon as he gets the chance.
Colin Ingram: Ingram wasn’t at his best against Quetta, but will likely be better this time around.
Arshad Iqbal: After a great start to his season, Arshad will have a lot of expectations riding on him.
Mohammad Amir: Extremely economical last match, Amir has shown every sign that he’s still got it.
Shadab Khan (c), Alex Hales, Phil Salt (wk), Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Ali Khan, Mohammad Wasim, Zafar Gohar.
Preview and form
The two-time champions were in a major crisis last year, but seem to have overcome their issues between the seasons. In their first match, United bowled first against the Sultans. Mohammad Wasim’s 3-for, Lewis Gregory’s double haul, and Hasan Ali’s economical spell made sure Multan couldn’t make more than 150. The chase didn’t start as smoothly as IU would have hoped, with Alex Hales’ 29 the only decent score among the top 6, but then Lewis Gregory turned things around with a powerful 49 off 31, while Faheem Ashraf supported with 22 to get the team from the capital an important win with 3 wickets and an over to spare.
Alex Hales: The in-form Englishman may have been inexplicably spurned by IPL teams, but he’ll look to make them regret doing so by acing the PSL.
Phil Salt: The Perth Scorchers keeper didn’t have a good start to his campaign, but he has the skill to bounce back.
Mohammad Wasim: IU’s bowler from the last game will have his work cut out for him.
Hasan Ali: Causing all kinds of problems for the opposition side, Hasan will be a thorn in the side for Karachi.
Karachi Kings vs Islamabad United weather conditions and pitch report
There’s a slight chance for a small drizzle around the time of the match, but other than that the conditions should be great for cricket. It’s lucky that the match takes place at night and not in the afternoon, because some strong winds are predicted to be blowing in the afternoon which should die down by nighttime.
Batsmen seem to be figuring out the National Stadium pitch, which assists fast bowlers much more than spinners but also gives batsmen the chance to time the ball sweetly. However, whoever wins the toss should definitely choose to bowl, because as of the time of writing, no team has won the match batting first.
Can the Kings rule over Islamabad like in the days of yore? Or will United manage to get more wins in their first two matches this year than they did in their last 7 matches last year? Find out if our Karachi Kings versus Islamabad United predictions come true on Wednesday!
|KK Top Batsman:|
|IU Top Batsman:|
|KK Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|IU Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|Players to score a fifty:|
|C Ingram/B Azam (KK), A Hales/P Salt (IU)|