About the Match
Karachi Kings finally made a breakthrough with a win in their last game against United which came through the D/L method by 8 run s leaving United at the fourth spot in the points tally; they continue to be at the bottom of the table but have opened their points tally with 2 points. The United, who won the last the two teams met, will take on Peshawar Zalmi on 19th February at Sharjah. Zalmi had their last game against Gladiators washed out by rain but they hold the top spot with 5 points and will be eager to continue with their winning momentum. It needs to be seen if Peshawar Zalmi can avenge their previous defeat which they received in the very first game of the tournament and continue to stay at the top of the table.
Having the likes of Dwayne Smith, Brad Haddin, Sam Billings, Misbah-ul-Haq and Shane Watson in their top-order, Islamabad United have arguably the best top-order in the tournament. Smith and Billings have given decent starts with Billings in top-form. Watson too has got some runs under the belt with a few cameos to get his team across the line. Both Haddin and Misbah have got a fifty each which clearly sheds some light on the potency of this batting lineup.
Shane Watson has justified his all-rounder role as he is topping the bowling charts. Mohammad Sami has been instrumental to their success as he has kept a lid on scoring rate while adding to the counter in the wickets column. Mohammad Irfan and Rumman Raees add a variation to the bowling lineup with their unorthodox actions.
Overall, the United have a batting lineup which can destroy any bowling attack on their day. If they perform as per their potential on paper, they can be a dangerous team to deal with.
They have registered two consecutive wins so far and although their recent match was abandoned due to rain, their spirits are not dampened; they have defeated Karachi Kings earlier and will be motivated to repeat the winning performance here. In the previous game against Kings, the bowlers targeted the opposition’s top-order and spinner Mohammad Hafeez provided 2 early breakthroughs. Speedsters Wahab Riaz, Jordan and Hasan Ali took 4 wickets between them while other spinners Mohammad Asghar and Afridi slowed down the Kings with an economical display to stifle them at 118.
Eoin Morgan posted a brilliant unbeaten 80 off 57 to steer the team safely home with 9 balls to spare while Malan and Haris Sohail made useful contributions after an initial hiccup with the duck-outs of Hafeez and Kamran Akmal.
The bowlers yet again proved to be a formidable force to reckon with when they demolished Qalandars recently all-out for just 59 in 10.2 overs; Hasan Ali took 3 wickets while Jordan, Riaz, Afridi, Asghar and Hafeez provided quick breakthroughs all the way. Morgan and Afridi stood firm and got the required 60 within 17 overs although the others put up a dismal show. They have done well to offer stiff opposition with the ball and could continue with their winning spree here.
The Zalmi batsmen have done better than the Kings so far and the bowlers too are consistent in their wicket-taking abilities; while the United are pumped up, Zalmi have the momentum with them. We feel that the Zalmi will overpower the United given the form they're in.