Our Prediction is Islamabad United to win!
Reigning Champions Islamabad United will be keen to continue their momentum when they take on Karachi Kings in the Eliminator 1 game of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Karachi on Thursday.
Islamabad United will be looking to win the game and setup a clash with the loser of Quetta vs Peshawar game to be played on Wednesday. The two-time champions delivered the goods when it mattered the most and secured their place in the playoffs after a comfortable win over Lahore Qalandars.
On the other hand, Karachi Kings just managed to sneak through to the playoffs despite all the odds. Kings have played competitive games in the last few days and will be well prepared for Islamabad United in this contest.
In the last match, Islamabad outclassed Lahore by 49 runs courtesy of a sublime performance from Cameron Delport, who scored 117 runs off just 50 balls with the help of thirteen fours and six sixes,
In the batting department, the side will be hoping to see the return of form of wicket-keeper batsman Luke Ronchi, who had a rare failure in an all-important encounter against Lahore Qalandars, but even then he has scored 297 runs at an average of 33.00. Ronchi certainly a big match player and will be keen to deliver something special with the bat.
Opener Cameron Delport and middle-order batsman Asif Ali made valuable contributions with the bat and the team management will be hoping for a similar kind of performances in this all-important tie. Asif also notched up a crucial half-century in the previous game played against Lahore. West Indies’ Chadwick Walton also smashed 48 off 30 balls with the help of two fours and four sixes. He will be looking to continue his good form in this must-win game against Karachi Kings.
In the bowling department, the team is relying heavily on all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, who now has 21 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 13.36. He picked up six wickets in the previous game against Lahore to help Islamabad secure their place in the playoffs.
All eyes will be on leg-spinner Shadab Khan, who has not done that well so far and might be determined to produce his best in this must-win game.
Mohammad Sami(c), Luke Ronchi (wk), Cameron Delport, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Philip Salt, Chadwick Walton, Mohammad Musa, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Rumman Raees.
On the other hand, Kings suffered a setback of sorts after losing to Peshawar Zalmi in their last round-robin fixture. The franchise will need to make amends for their mistakes and come up with a clinical performance in this must-win encounter.
In the batting department, the team management will be depending on the likes of left-hander Colin Ingram, who is franchises’ highest run-scorer in the competition with 321 runs in 10 matches with one century to his name. Ingram had a good outing with the bat in the previous game and scored 71 off 37 balls in a losing cause. Besides Azam and Ingram, England’s Liam Livingstone has done an excellent job for Karachi in his debut season and scored 291 runs in 10 matches with three half-centuries to his name.
Wicket-keeper batsman Ben Dunk, Iftikhar Ahmed and Imad Wasim have all contributed well with crucial runs for the side so far in this year’s tournament. The trio certainly has the ability to produce quick runs in the back end of the innings.
In the bowling department, the team management will be relying on pacers Usman Khan Shinwari and Mohammad Amir who have claimed 24 wickets between them. Left-arm quick Mohammad Amir was certainly the pick of the bowlers in the previous game and picked up three wickets against Peshawar Zalmi.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Umer Khan has certainly been impressive in his debut season for Karachi Kings and claimed 13 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 17.38. The 19-year old will be keen to make a strong comeback after conceding a lot of runs in the previous game.
Imad Wasim (c), Ifthikhar Ahmed, Liam Livingstone, Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Colin Munro, Ben Dunk (wk), Sohail Khan, Usman Khan Shinwari, Umer Khan, Mohammad Amir.
The wicket prepared is expected to be a track full of runs, whereas the team batting first as always, will have a huge psychological advantage. The weather conditions for the game on Thursday are going to be bright and sunny.
The venue has certainly been favorable to batsmen rather than bowlers. Expect another high-scoring game between Karachi Kings and Islamabad United