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Pakistan Super League is picking up steam as we move info 15th game of the tournament where Karachi Kings take on Islamabad United on 4th March 2018 at Sharjah Cricket Ground, Sharjah. The Kings have been the team to beat in the season and are running unbeaten so far. Islamabad United, the winners of '16 edition have had a mixed run. They've won two games so far in the competition with one of those coming through a super over. While Karachi Kings have looked fluent and relentless, Islamabad United are slowly but surely getting into the rhythm. It certainly promises to be a cracker of an encounter between the two excellent sides.
The United did not have a bright start to the tournament, but have somehow managed to stay in the hunt. They lost by a hefty margin of 34 runs to Peshawar Zalmi but defeated Multan Sultans by 5 wickets. Their see-saw run continued when they lost to Quetta Gladiators and narrowly escaped with a win in the Super over against Lahore Qalandars.
Islamabad United are missing some of their key players due to international commitments, but have still managed to perform reasonably. Andre Russell and Samit Patel have performed their role to good effect as the duo has contributed with both bat and ball. Mohammad Sami has been instrumental with his quick bowling and has even been touching 150kmph mark. Their batting, in the absence of Alex Hales and Sam Billings, haven't done particularly well, but their bowlers haven't let that void felt.
All in all, their batting looks a little weak and would have to step up against Karachi Kings who are in superb form. If they can do that and bowlers continue to deliver the way they've been doing, it won't be surprising if we see an upset here.
Luke Ronchi, Sahibzada Farhan, Jean-Paul Duminy, Misbah-ul-Haq, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Andre Russell, Mohammad Sami, SR Patel.
Karachi Kings have been on a rampage in this season. Considering the form they're in, they'll be ruing that they had to share points with Multan Sultans as the match was washed out due to rain. They won their opening encounter against against Quetta Gladiators and then went on to post a victory against Peshawar Zalmi. They strengthened their position on the points table with a victory against Lahore Qalandars but had to settle with one points as rain played the spoil sport against in their match against Sultans.
With the experience of Shahid Afridi and coach Mickey Arthur coupled with some inspirational on-field tactics by skipper Imad Waseem, the Kings are flying high in the completion. Shahid Afridi has been best bowler so far as he has picked up six wickets at a miserly economy rate. The team would be looking up to him to deliver the goods with his batting as well, in case required.
They'd like to resume their winning run and post a big win against Islamabad United. While Islamabad are looking to be gaining momentum, Karachi would have to do nothing different and continue to play as they've been doing and it could yet another easy win for them.
Joe Denly, Khurram Manzoor, Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, RS Bopara, Mohammad Rizwan, SI Wasim, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Amir, UK Khan, TS Mills.
It promises to be yet another close encounter with both teams expected to strive hard to register a win. Luke Ronchi hasn't been delivering in for the United and has posted two ducks in four games. Their batting needs to pick up for them to challenge inform bowling of Karachi Kings. With bowling in superb form and batting complementing it to good effect, Karachi Kings go in as favorites to win yet another match.