PSL 2018, Qualifier Preview: Islamabad and Karachi all set for a marquee clash
Although these sides have a second chance, they'd prefer to book a flight directly to Karachi than going via Lahore.
Updated - Mar 18, 2018 12:29 pm
After so many tantalizing and entertaining games in the last one month or so, the PSL has finally reached the business end. Table-toppers Islamabad United will be locking horns with the Karachi Kings to earn a direct place in the final which will be held in Karachi. Both sides have been sensational thus far in the tournament and it’ll be hard to pick one favorite for this one.
Islamabad received a great boost with the addition of Alex Hales into their unit. The English top-order batsman has straight away made his mark in the league. The likes of Asif Ali, Sam Billings, and Hussain Talat are making the most of the opportunities they’re getting and they will be considering this as one of the biggest games of their life.
Karachi is the in-form side currently after they defeated Islamabad in the final league game of the 2018 edition. They look well-balanced in every department. The experience of Eoin Morgan and Shahid Afridi is going to help them big time in this crucial encounter. Although these sides have a second chance, they’d prefer to book a flight directly to Karachi than going via Lahore.
Head to Head
Matches – 7, Islamabad United– 4, Karachi Kings – 3, N/R – 0
The Kings have an experienced top order, with Khurram Manzoor and Joe Denly being the openers. Colin Ingram has been in fine form and might be taking the number 3 spot. They also have the likes of Babar Azam and Eoin Morgan, who can win matches by their own on any day. Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan are the other middle order batters.
Mohammad Amir will be the main man with the ball for the Kings. He will be accompanied by Mohammad Irfan Jnr and Tymall Mills. Usman Khan was fantastic in the previous game, registering figures of 4/17. Afridi will probably be the lone spinner in the lineup.
Predicted XI: Shahid Afridi, Eoin Morgan (c), Khurram Manzoor, Mohammad Amir, Joe Denly, Colin Ingram, Tymal Mills, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Usman Khan, Mohammad Irfan Jnr
Proteas all-rounder JP Duminy will open the innings alongside Chadwick Walton. In all likelyhood, Alex Hales will be batting at number 3 with Misbah-ul-Haq, Hussain Talat, Shadab Khan, and Asif Ali to follow in the middle order. Their batting lineup failed badly in the previous game, something they’d want to rectify in the games to come.
They have some excellent fast bowlers in Steven Finn and Faheem Ashraf, who will take the bulk of the repsonsibility. Amad Butt is another exciting fast bowler in their side. Shadab Khan and Zafar Gohar will be the main spinners with a decent part time option in JP Duminy available.
Predicted XI: Jean-Paul Duminy, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Chadwick Walton (wk), Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Zafar Gohar, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Amad Butt, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf
Focus will be on
Joe Denly (Karachi Kings)
One of the best T20 cricketers from England, Joe Denly has loads of experience when it comes to playing in such games. The Englishman has been performing pretty well in recent times and his experience will come in very handy. If he can fire the Kings to a good start with the bat, the job would be half done for the side.
JP Duminy (Islamabad United)
Ever since JP Duminy joined the side, they look a little more balanced. The options he provides with the bat and ball are worth mentioning and he certainly is a gem of a cricketer. Duminy played a few brilliant knocks already and he would love to deliver another one to send his side straight to Lahore.
9 – Babar Azam needs 9 more runs to temporarily take over Kamran Akmal as the highest run getter this season.
16 – With 16 wickets after his name, Faheem Ashraf is the leading wicket-taker this season.
The timing of the match: 09:30 pm IST
TV – D Sport