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Islamabad United won an important game against Peshawar Zalmi and will now be taking on the Karachi Kings just a few hours afterward as the PSL 2019 matches come thick and fast. This was the second win for Islamabad United in just four matches as the side continued to stay in the qualification zone.
The Karachi Kings have won just one match in PSL 2019 right now but they have also played one game lesser than all the other teams. Their previous match ended with a heavy defeat against Peshawar Zalmi and their confidence would be a bit muted coming into this match.
The beauty of the PSL lies in the fact that all the teams are pretty evenly matched. An even sprinkling of match winners, both international and domestic, ensures that matches are always going to be hard fought. Since four out of the 6 teams qualify for the PSL knockouts, it is also more difficult not to qualify than it is to qualify!
A good batting performance was the backbone of the win against Peshawar Zalmi in the last match for Islamabad United. Most of the top-batsmen got off to starts and seemed in good touch even though it was only Ian Bell that passed the fifty mark. Luke Ronchi was aggressive from the start and that is how he is going to play. We think he could be a factor on the better batting pitches in Sharjah and so look out for a big inning from him.
Sahibzada Farhan looks a bit overrated to us and his place at the top of the order seems to be because of his reputation rather than anything he has actually done.
Ian Bell, Hussain Talat, Cameron Delport, Asif Ali, and Faheem Ashraf are a very useful batting order to have in your side. Asif Ali also struck two sixes in his brief stay and showed how dangerous he can be. It was the PSL that provided the initial launch pad for Asif Ali’s career and it could be where he cements his place in the Pakistan ICC World Cup 2019 squad.
Islamabad United followed up their batting with a better bowling performance. They reduced Peshawar Zalmi to 65 for 5 before Kieron Pollard threatened to take the game away from them. Some late strikes including a hat-trick for Mohammad Sami ensured that Islamabad United came out on top.
The most impressive bowler of the night was Mohammad Musa. Another fast bowling youngster, Musa cranked up the pace and was difficult to hit. He picked up three wickets and add more depth to an already stocked bowling attack.
Luke Ronchi, Sahibzada Farhan, C Delport, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, WD Parnell, SR Patel, Rumman Raees, Muhammad Musa.
The Karachi Kings slumped to a heavy defeat against Peshawar Zalmi in their last match and their reliance on the openers is starting to become a crutch now. If Liam Livingstone and Babar Azam do not get runs for the Karachi Kings, their batting seems to crumble.
On paper, the likes of Colin Ingram, Ben Dunk, Sikandar Raza, and Imad Wasim give a lot of depth to the batting. This potential to score runs has not translated to performances on the park, though.
The Karachi Kings could consider sending Ben Dunk to open the batting and then dropping Livingstone to three but that would break up a successful opening partnership and maybe create more problems. The big issue does not seem to be in the players that have been picked or the positions they are batting in but rather the execution of cricket being played.
Ben Dunk has never been the best player of spin and could be found out pretty quickly. If a player were to be replaced from this batting lineup then it would have to him.
The Karachi Kings also have an excellent bowling lineup to call upon. Mohammad Amir has been in fine form and there is no doubt about the usefulness of Imad Wasim in T20 cricket. With Usman Shinwari and Sikandar Raza also in the side, the Karachi Kings can defend a decent total with ease.
The onus must be on the batting to now stand up and deliver. Facing Islamabad United is going to be tough but there are no easy matches in PSL 2019.
Colin Munro, Babar Azam, A Zia, Colin Ingram, Liam Livingstone, Ben Dunk, SI Wasim, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Umer Khan, Usman Khan.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to bat first
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The Pakistan Super League 2019 match between Islamabad United and the Karachi Kings is going to be played at the Sharjah International Stadium, Sharjah. The weather is rarely a problem in the desert and we should have no problems on that front. The pitch has been excellent for batting and allowed some big scores to be hit.
Both the teams in this contest are full batting superstars so we could have another high-scoring game to look forward to.
Islamabad United is an extremely well-balanced side and has been in good form. Its core set of players is used to playing with each other and this allows everyone to know exactly what their roles are. The Karachi Kings may not be in good form but they have a very good set of players as well. We think the better batting surface may play into their hands and allow them to pull off an upset.
Back Karachi Kings to win.
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