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Islamabad United and Karachi Kings have competed against each other in 18 matches in the PSL. Islamabad United have claimed 12 games while Karachi Kings have won six. Islamabad have retained most of their players, with a significantly better batting line-up than any other team. They start as favourites, especially if they are chasing. We predict Islamabad United to win this match.
Karachi Kings: Sharjeel Khan, Matthew Wade (wk), Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, Qasim Akram, Ben Cutting, Imad Wasim (c), Andrew Tye, Imran Tahir, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Amir
Islamabad United: Paul Stirling, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Colin Munro, Shadab Khan (c), Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Asif Ali, Tom Curran, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Hasan Ali, Abrar Ahmed
Islamabad United will begin their PSL 2023 campaign with a clash against Karachi Kings. The fourth match of the tournament will take place at National Stadium in Karachi on Thursday, February 16th.
Islamabad United are the only team to have been crowned the PSL champions twice, having won in 2016 and 2018. However, they haven't reached the final in the last four editions.
Last year, they secured fourth place in the group stage with four wins and six defeats, courtesy of their superior net run-rate. They then defeated Peshawar Zalmi by five wickets in the Eliminator 1 but lost to Lahore Qalandars by six runs in the Eliminator 2.
Having endured the worst season in the league last year, Karachi Kings began their 2023 campaign with a loss as well. They lost to Peshawar Zalmi by just two runs at home on Tuesday. Their bowling attack was taken apart by Tom Kohler-Cadmore (92 off 50) and Babar Azam (68 off 46), posting 199/5.
Chasing the target, Karachi were in trouble with 46 for 4 on the board. But captain Imad Wasim and Shoaib Malik slowly put them back in contention. They added 131 runs for the fifth wicket before Malik was dismissed for 52 off 34. Imad scored an unbeaten 80 off 47 but despite several no balls and dropped catches from Peshawar, they fell short by two runs.
Karachi Kings opted to open with Matthew Wade in the first game with James Vince missing out. They have trusted the likes of Sharjeel Khan, Qasim Akram and Haider Ali up the order but will need to deliver. Shoaib Malik provides the power against spin in the middle order and can provide finishing touch as well with Ben Cutting and Imad Wasim. Mohammad Amir, Mir Hamza, Andrew Tye and Cutting form the pace-bowling unit while Imran Tahir and Imad handle the spin department.
Islamabad United have retained their core, with a destructive batting line-up to their service yet again. Alex Hales, however, will not be available for the first two weeks. Rahmanullah Gurbaz also looks doubtful due to international duties. They still have Paul Stirling, Colin Munro, Shadab Khan, Azam Khan and Asif Ali. The bowling attack could be a concern with Faheem Ashraf, Tom Curran, Mohammad Wasim Jr and Hasan Ali prone to be expensive. But they can all bat, so there's a great batting depth. Abrar Ahmed will get his chance to shine in the PSL after doing well in Tests.
Matthew Wade is amongst the destructive batters in T20 cricket when he opens the innings, especially at good batting venues such as Karachi. He looked in good touch in the previous game, hitting three fours and a six. Wade has over 4300 runs in the shorter format at an average of 27 and strike rate of 136, including 24 fifties and a hundred.
Shadab Khan has been a key player for Islamabad United with his immense all-around value. He had an outstanding season last year, scoring 268 runs in nine games at an average of 33.5 while striking at 162, including two fifties. The leg-spinner also bagged 19 wickets at an economy of 6.46 with best figures of 5/28.
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Rohit is a cricket enthusiast striving to convey the finer details of the game in a capsule. He hopes to present a bird's eye view of the game, as he sees it, to the readers. He is smitten by the likes of ABD but crushes on pace bowlers who can make the ball talk. Email: [email protected]More info on Rohit Sankar
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