About the Match
Karachi Kings came close to a win in their last night's encounter against Lahore Qalandars, but once again ended up being on the losing side. They take on Islamabad United, who registered a victory against Quetta Gladiators, in a closely fought match, thanks to superb innings by Sam Billings. The match will be played at Sharjah Cricket Ground, Sharjah at 9:30 pm IST. The Karachi Kings languish at the bottom of the table as they are yet to register a win after playing three games in the competition. Islamabad United, on the other hand, have had a good tournament and have registered two wins in their three matches and sit comfortably at third spot separated only by Net Run Rate from the top two. This match holds a lot of importance for Karachi Kings if they have to maintain their chances to stay in the tournament. United will try to strengthen their position at the top and considering that Karachi showed glimpses of coming back to form in their last game makes this clash even more exciting.
Misbah-ul-Haq is leading the side beautifully as they've registered two comfortable victories in their two games. In their most recent encounter, bowlers played a significant role in keeping the Gladiators to a modest total. Sam Billings, later, played a brilliant 50-ball 78 to guide his team to a five-wicket win.
Shane Watson has been instrumental in the success they've achieved in the two games. He's bowled well, batted well and adds to the balance of the squad with his all-around skills. Veteran Australian wicket-keeper batsman, Brad Haddin, has batted well and with Misbah-ul-Haq and Dwayne Smith in the side, the batting lineup is certainly tough to beat on paper.
Their bowling hasn't done as well as their batting, but the bowling unit is gradually improving as we move forward into the tournament. They conceded 190-odd runs in the first match they played and their discipline improved significantly as they stopped Quetta to a modest total of 148. They were hit by the absence of Andre Russell before the tournament, but the efforts from the current players have made sure that his presence is not felt much. Overall, they have a strong lineup which can be tough to crack.
Karachi Kings were one of the worst performers in the last season and their fortunes haven't changed despite having veterans like Chris Gayle, Kumar Sangakkara, Kieren Pollard and Ravi Bopara. Chris Gayle is known to be a slow starter and once he gets going, going gets tough for the bowlers.
In their most recent encounter, against Lahore Qalandars, Sangakkara and Shoaib Malik played brilliant innings in the middle order to take them close to the victory. Bopara and Pollard, however, failed to capitalize on the platform and the team faced yet another defeat.
Kings have seen players perform for them in the tournament, but they haven't found anyone who can take them across the line. They have a decent bowling unit with players like Mohammad Amir, Imad Wasim and Usman Mir. All-rounders like Kieren Pollard and Ravi Bopara add balance to the side. Given their batting lineup, its just the matter of time they start firing and if they do, it is going to hard for any team to stop them.
Islamabad United have been one of the happier sides of the tournament whereas Karachi Kings are yet to score a win in the tournament. Karachi Kings have one of the strongest batting lineup in the tournament, but their batsmen haven't been firing. Karachi Kings looked to gather some momentum in their last game and with Malik and Sangakkara back in form, I'll place my money on them