About the Match
Islamabad United defeated Karachi Kings in the last match to open their points tally with 2 points in the kitty; they will now take on Qalandars, who also have 2 points after their big win against Quetta Gladiators, on 10th February at Sharjah. Qalandars had suffered two consecutive defeats prior to this victory, one in the hands of Karachi Kings and the other against Peshawar Zalmi; they have now redeemed themselves and will look forward to many such conquests in the coming days. Islamabad United also earned its first win of the season and will be eager to continue with the winning momentum on Wednesday.
Umar Akmal’s briallint 93 off just 40 deliveries helped the Qalandars amass a huge total of 194 against Quetta Gladiators on Monday and win the match; Cameron Delport brought in a fine innings of 73 off 55 to support Akmal. The bowlers led by Zafar Gohar’s 4-14 and Mendis’3- 17, demolished the opposition during their chase; others like Zohaib Khan, Cooper and Bravo also took a wicket each and registered victory by a massive 63 runs.
In the earlier match against Zalmi, the batting line-up failed to impress as they could muster only 117 runs on board; Bravo and Azhar Ali scored 30+ runs each while Umar Akmal scored 21 runs. The bowlers found it difficult to defend the lowly target and the overall performance was lacklustre.
The recent win against Gladiators will surely have bolstered their confidence to do well in the upcoming match against United; they have a well-balanced team of experienced batsmen and bowlers like Zafar Gohar, Ajantha Mendis and Devon Cooper, who can surprise the opponents.
They won a close game against Karachi Kings by defending 132 runs thanks to a splendid comeback by Saeed Ajmal, who took 3-27; Mohammad Sami, Russell and Raees took a wicket each to help the team restrict the opponent and win the match by 2 runs. Earlier, the batsmen Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan stitched a 45-run partnership for the 2nd wicket after Shane Watson was dismissed for 13 runs; after the middle order fell like a pack of cards, Mohammad Sami and Imran Khalid contributed with the bat to take the total to 132 runs.
In the game against Peshawar Zalmi however, the batsmen crumbled under pressure chasing 146 runs and except Watson, who scored 28 runs and Billings, who added 26 runs, the others couldn’t impress with the bat. The bowling effort was good as Russell claimed 3-31 and the others took regular wickets to stifle the opposition but the batsmen put up a dismal effort leading to a loss.
Islamabad United has a strong batting outfit with players like Watson, Misbah-ul-Haq, Sharjeel Khan, Ashar Zaidi and Andre Russell in the lower order but they have to pull up their socks and come out stronger here to keep their winning momentum going.
It will be a tussle between the two sides to try and climb up the ladder with another win here; while the contest could go either way, we feel that Lahore Qalandars who showed their batting prowess recently is better placed to emerge victorious on Wednesday.