Islamabad United’s challenge to reverse last season’s form
Multan Sultans to win
Islamabad United and Multan Sultans would be starting their campaigns as the two sides meet in the 3rd game of the Pakistan Super League 2021. While the Multan Sultans were unlucky to have lost out in the Elimination game last season after dominating the leagues stages, it was a poor show from the Islamabad United in the entire season, their worst so far in the history of the tournament.
A new season always poses fresh challenges and opportunities for all the sides and hence this game is expected to be an interesting one. While Islamabad United has a very strong batting line-up the Sultans do have one of the best attacks in this tournament to go along with their depth in batting. Given the strengths in the two camps at the moment we expect this one to be a tough contest.
It was a terrible season for Shadab Khan’s side last year where they managed to win only three games and finished at the bottom of the points table. The two time title winners would be looking for a better start this season. They haven’t fared too well against the Multan Sultans in the last two seasons and Khan would be looking for a win here to gain confidence.
On the batting front the side would be expecting a good start from Alex Hales and Paul Stirling and both these players pack punch in their batting. In the middle order Philip Salt, Asif Ali and Hussain Talat would have to steer the innings. They bat deep with Rohail Nazir, Lewis Gregory and Shadab Khan in the side. They will be up against a good bowling attack and the side would expect a good show from its players.
Muhammad Musa and Hasan Ali would be tasked with striking early with the new ball as their opponents have good strength at the top. Faheem Ashraf is known to be a smart bowler and he will have an important role to play in this game. With Shadab Khan, Gregory and Stirling in the side they have decent bowling options going into this contest.
Shadab Khan (c), Alex Hales, Paul Stirling, Philip Salt, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Rohail Nazir (wk), Lewis Gregory, Muhammad Musa, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf
Alex Hales, Iftikhar Ahmed, Zafar Gohar, Lewis Gregory, Hussain Talat, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Hasan Ali, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Phil Salt
Mohammad Rizwan who has been appointed skipper for this edition would have huge responsibility on his shoulder leading so many big names. But he has personally grown through the ranks and leads a confident side that had done well last season. Rizwan would like to see the best from his players and gain early points for the season.
They have a very strong opening pair in Chris Lynn and Mohammad Rizwan and they will look to provide an explosive start in the game. In the middle order Shan Masood, Rilee Rossouw and Khushdil Shah would carry forward the confidence from their last season’s performance. They will need to prepare the start for the likes of Carlos Braithwaite and Shahid Afridi to launch the final assault.
With the ball Sohail Tanvir and Sohail Khan would be expected to start the proceedings well and strike against the strong batting that Islamabad has. Imran Tahir and Afridi are veterans of the game form a deadly pair in the middle overs. The side would also expect Braithwaite and Usman Qadir to bowl tight lines in this game.
Mohammad Rizwan (c & wk), Rilee Rossouw, Shahid Afridi, Chris Lynn, Sohail Tanvir, Imran Tahir, Carlos Braithwaite, Usman Qadir, Shaan Masood, Khushdil Shah, Sohail Khan
RR Rossouw, Carlos Brathwaite, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Rizwan, Sohaibullah, Chris Lynn, Mohammad Umar, Khushdil Shah, James Vince, SMSK Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||18||0 mm.||3.42 k/h||From: NNW||0%|
|03h||21||0 mm.||2.98 k/h||From: N||0%|
|06h||29||0 mm.||1.42 k/h||From: N||0%|
|09h||31||0 mm.||4.87 k/h||From: SW||0%|
|12h||29||0 mm.||6.15 k/h||From: WSW||0%|
|15h||24||0 mm.||4.03 k/h||From: W||0%|
|18h||22||0 mm.||3.26 k/h||From: W||0%|
|21h||21||0 mm.||3.57 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
It would be clear skies over Karachi on February 21 and the weather would be warm and humid. We expect the surface to be flat where batsmen would be able to hit through the line without much of problem. The side that bats first in this game would need to have a target score of 180 runs or more in mind.
National Stadium Karachi is an ideal destination for batsmen as the flat surface allows them to play their strokes without any fear. Fast bowlers have a tough time on this surface with very little support to talk about. Spinners have enjoyed good success here as the ball tends to turn sharply here.
It is still early days in the tournament and the pitch is expected to be fast paced where batsmen will be able to hit through the line. The side that wins the toss in this game would like to bat first and put up an imposing total on the board.
Lahore Qalandars would be under pressure after the poor show from the side last season. Though they have a good batting line-up it will be interesting to see how they fare this year after most of their big names failed last year. Multan Sultans were unlucky to have missed out on the title and with good balance in their batting and bowling the side would start favorites this season.
Multan Sultans to win