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|U Siddiq Khan||46||45||5||1||102.22|
Islamabad United has recovered well after a bit of a shaky start to PSL 2019 and now has three wins from five matches. The side is keeping pace with the PSL League leaders and is in a good position moving forward.
The same cannot be said about the Multan Sultans. Four losses out of five matches have put the Multan Sultans right at the bottom of the PSL 2019 League table. All is not lost for Multan Sultans, though. Since four out of the six teams qualify for the knockout stage of the PSL, the Multan Sultans are just one win away from moving into a provisional qualification spot.
It appears as if the fight for the top spot and the final qualification spot is going to be hotly contested. Each match is going to have a huge bearing on the PSL 2019 standings from here on in.
PSL 2019 is moving back to Dubai for its next leg of matches and that should mean a different approach for some teams. The playing surface in Sharjah was much more conducive to strokeplay than what we witnessed in Dubai and so the batsmen will have to recalibrate the scores they are looking at.
Islamabad United gave a demonstration of its batting might in the previous match as it chased down 144 in just 16.1 overs. Luke Ronchi and Samit Patel did not let the loss of a few early wickets faze them as they targeted the boundaries and cleared the ropes on a regular basis.
Ronchi is a PSL legend and his 67 off just 35 deliveries would have signaled to everyone that he is far from being done just yet.
Cameron Delport and Hussain Talat failed to score in the previous match but they are both quality players and will be persisted with. Islamabad United has decided to persist with all-rounders to power its middle and lower order in the PSL so far and that is something that could be a risky move.
Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Wayne Parnell, and even Samit Patel are not the kind of players you want to bank upon for runs too often.
Muhammad Musa continued to be impressive with the ball as he gave away just 28 runs in his four overs and picked up an important wicket as well. Faheem Ashraf took three wickets while Shadab Khan was very economical.
Wayne Parnell only bowled one over in the previous match but he and Samit Patel can easily bowl their full quota of overs if needed.
Luke Ronchi, C Delport, Sahibzada Farhan, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, WD Parnell, SR Patel, Rumman Raees, Muhammad Musa.
The Multan Sultans are struggling in the PSL because of their inability to sort out their batting issues. They have been trying to rejig their team composition and balance in an effort to sort it out but have not yet been successful in eradicating the problem.
We don’t the players in their side are lacking quality, far from it actually, but their current form is disappointing. Senior players like Shoaib Malik, James Vince, and Daniel Christian need to take more responsibility.
Johnson Charles scored a fifty in the previous match and could be one of the players to watch out for although he is not the most consistent of batsmen either. The lack of a genuine match winner with the bat is a big concern for the Multan Sultans and that must be sorted out immediately.
We think the Multan Sultans are one of the sides that would benefit from a 48-hour trading window in the middle of the PSL as has been speculated.
The Multan Sultans are also struggling a bit in the bowling department. We value the presence of Junaid Khan and Shahid Afridi in the side very highly but the others don’t inspire as much confidence. Dan Christian is good with the ball but he is not the most potent threat in slow conditions. Mohammad Irfan is definitely not the same bowler he was at his peak and Shoaib Malik is a part-timer at best.
Chris Green is very good in the powerplay but he is not going to give any opposition batsmen nightmares.
The Multan Sultans appear to be filled with some promising players but the overall quality in the side is not as high as their competitors and that is showing up. They need one of their players to hit a purple patch of form to be able to overcome some of their shortcomings.
J Vince, U Siddiq Khan, J Charles, Shoaib Malik, DT Christian, SMSK Afridi, Laurie Evans, Nauman Ali, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Irfan.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to bat first
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The PSL 2019 match between Islamabad United and the Multan Sultans is going to be played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai. The weather is rarely ever a problem in these parts and another dry, sunny day is expected for match day.
The pitch has been slow and low at the Dubai International Stadium and we don’t expect that to change in this match either. The players will have had a little bit more time to adjust to the conditions, though, and that could result in some bigger scores.
The Multan Sultans are the definite underdogs in this contest but moving to a lower scoring venue might be of help to them. It reduces the disadvantage their poor batting has. Their poor form, though, and the improvement seen in the performance of Islamabad United makes it difficult to recommend the upset.
Back Islamabad United to win.
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