Man of the Match: Ali Shafiq
Islamabad United to continue with a 2nd Win?
Our Prediction is Islamabad United to win!
Reigning champions Islamabad United will be eager to continue momentum forward when they will face Multan Sultans in the 4th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at Dubai International Cricket on Saturday.
Islamabad have got off to a perfect start to their campaign this season with a comfortable five-wicket win over Lahore Qalandars. Mohammad Sami and co. will be looking to maintain consistency with bat and ball to retain their top spot in the league table.
On the other hand, Multan Sultans suffered a narrow seven-run defeat against Karachi Kings and will be looking to make a strong comeback in their second game. Skipper Shoaib Malik will be hoping that the side can improve their game against Islamabad United.
The side comfortably brushed aside Lahore Qalandars courtesy of splendid performances from Hussain Talat, Asif Ali and Faheem Ashraf. United will be hoping to maintain their lead at the top of the league table.
The opening pair of Luke Ronchi and Rizwan Hussain got Islamabad off to a flier in the chase and added 45 runs in just 5 overs. Hussain missed out on getting big runs and was dismissed for 15 runs.
Wicket-keeper batsman Luke Ronchi continued his good form and smashed a brisk 27 runs off 17 balls with the help of four fours and a six. Cameron Delport also chipped with a decent innings for the side in the opening game played against Lahore.
In the batting department, the side will be relying on the likes of Luke Ronchi, Hussain Talat and Cameron Delport to do the bulk of the scoring. Overseas player Philip Salt perished for a low score in the PSL opening game.
Asif Ali produced a measured innings at a time when Islamabad United lost a couple of wickets. He scored unbeaten 36 runs off 19 balls with the help of two fours and three sixes. Asif formed unbeaten partnership with Faheem Ashraf to steer Islamabad to victory.
All-rounder Faheem Ashraf was the standout player for the side with bat and ball. He bowled well and finished with two wickets from his four-over spell. In the chase, Ashraf smashed unbeaten 23 off 11 balls with the help of two sixes.
Left-arm pacer Waqas Masood and leg-spinner Shadab Khan bowled well in the game played against Lahore Qalandars. Cameron Delport and Captain Mohammad Sami also picked up a wicket apiece.
Luke Ronchi, Rizwan Hussain, Philip Salt, Cameron Delport, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Samit Patel, Mohammad Sami (c), Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Waqas Maqsood
Mohammad Sami, Philip Salt, Luke Ronchi, Hussain Talat, W Maqsood, Cameron Delport, Asif Ali, Rizwan Hussain, SR Patel, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan
The franchise lost their opening game of the competition against Karachi Kings by a close margin. Multan Sultans will need to improve their bowling as they conceded a lot of runs with the new-ball.
For Sultans, the openers Shan Masood and Tom Moores will need to put in big scores in this game. Moores perished for a low score in the previous game. Masood got off to a decent start and scored 20 runs with the help of two fours.
England batsman Laurie Evans played well in his debut game for the franchise and scored 49 off 39 balls with the help of seven fours. Evans was well supported by Captain Shoaib Malik, who notched up 50th half century in the T20 format. He scored 52 off 28 balls with the help of five fours and two sixes.
Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi and Hammad Azam will need to do better for Multan to post big scores on the board.
In the bowling department, off-spinner Chris Green was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets to his name. Left-arm pacer Junaid Khan was expensive and leaked a lot of runs in the game played against Karachi Kings.
The franchise will be relying on the likes of Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan to make early inroads with the new-ball. Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi also failed to make an impact with the ball in hand.
Shoaib Malik (c), Tom Moores (wk), Shan Masood, Laurie Evans, Hammad Azam, Shahid Afridi, Andre Russell, Mohammad Irfan, Chris Green, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Ilyas
Shan Masood, Christopher Green, Hammad Azam, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Ali Shafiq, SMSK Afridi, Andre Russell, J Charles, Laurie Evans, Shoaib Malik
The surface prepared for the game will be excellent for batting. The weather conditions for the game are going to be partly cloudy.
The venue has certainly provided a good contest between bat and ball. Last season, Islamabad United beat Multan Sultans in a game played in Dubai.
The side that wins the toss will opt to bowl first and restrict the opposition to a modest score. The previous game was won by side batting second.
Islamanad United played extremely well in the opening match against Lahore, while Multan Sultans lost their last game by a thread to the Karachi Kings. The Sultans would need to improve their bowling department in order to have a chance against Islamabad!
We are backing Islamabad United for the win!
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