Another day and another terrific win for Lahore Qalandars. Slowly and steadily, Lahore Qalandars are bridging their gap with Multan Sultans for the top of the ladder position and they are doing pretty well. They have managed to increase the gap between themselves and Islamabad United, who are right behind the Qalandars on the ladder.
Now, Islamabad United have a huge job to do in their next few matches unless they want to be left behind in the race for the playoffs. Up next in the competition, Islamabad United are set to take on Karachi Kings, who are not really having a good time in this edition of Pakistan Super League. This match holds massive importance for both these sides and they both are expected to come out all guns blazing at each other. This upcoming match is to be played at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on 14th February 2022.
ISLAMABAD UNITED VS KARACHI KINGS TEAM PREVIEWS
Islamabad United have always been the kind of side that gets the job done but doesn’t really make a fuss about it. They seem to be doing pretty well in this edition of the tournament here as well and another win here should put them in a decent top to qualify for the next round. They would need to rack up some more wins, but will likely find it a bit easier than the other sides, largely because of their splendid net run rate.
Currently on the points table, Islamabad United are placed at the third spot and are breathing right down the Qalandars’ throat. The fact that they have a terrific net run rate of 0.792 speaks volumes about how dominant they have been so far in the matches that they have won. Also, most of the losses that they have faced have been closed ones, which could have gone either way.
Islamabad United are coming off a close defeat at the hands of Quetta Gladiators and will be keen to bounce back. Although their batsmen did their job by scoring a total of 199 runs batting first, their bowlers could not defend that. Alex Hales, in particular, has been terrific for them and will hold the key in this upcoming match. On paper, they have a pretty balanced side that seems to have all their bases covered. Prior to their loss against the Gladiators, they posted a dominating win over Karachi Kings and that should add to their confidence going into this upcoming match.
All in all, Islamabad United may be coming off a loss in their previous match, they wouldn’t be worried yet. They are still pretty much in contention to finish amongst the top top two sides and will need to win this upcoming match. They certainly have the personnel to do that and if they, together as a side, are able to play to their potential, Islamabad United will be a very tough side to beat.
Karachi Kings were one of the favorites to qualify for the next round before the tournament started but they have completely messed up their plans as far as the execution is concerned. With Babar Azam not living up to the standards he has set, his captaincy has also taken a hit in the tournament surprisingly. With lots of things going wrong, the Kings are lucky to be not eliminated out of the tournament already. However, they are already in a must-win situation and a loss here might well mean early exit from the tournament for them.
As it currently stands on the points table, Karachi Kings are placed at the bottom with zero points to their name. Not only have they lost all of the matches they have played, they have also lost them without even putting up much fight. Their net run rate of -1.420, which is the worst for a team in the tournament so far, speaks volumes about how terrible the Kings have been.
The Kings are coming off a massive 42-run defeat at the hands of Islamabad United in their recent match, which was followed by a loss at the hands of Peshawar Zalmi. Chasing a total of 193 against Zalmi, the Kings managed to put just 138 runs on the board as none of their batsmen looked comfortable enough to score quickly in the middle.
It’s not that the Kings do not have a good side on paper. In fact, a team consisting of Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan, Joe Clarke, and Mohammad Nabi can send scares down any opponent’s camp, but that isn’t happening for the Kings. It’s been rather strange to see Joe Clarke play in the middle order, especially given how dangerous he is known to be at the top. With the likes of Chris Jordan and Imad Wasim in the lineup, they have a pretty good bowling attack too.
All in all, Karachi Kings are doing plenty of things wrong and they would desperately need to correct most of those, if not all, in this upcoming match. It is improbable, but certainly not impossible for a team as capable as Karachi Kings. They have plenty of experience available and if they are able to use that well and play to their potential, they would be a very hard side to get past.
ISLAMABAD UNITED VS KARACHI KINGS MATCH DETAILS:
Match: Islamabad United vs Karachi Kings, Match 21, Pakistan Super League 2022.
Date and Time: February 14, 2022, Monday; 08:00 PM IST.
Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
The pitch at the Gaddafi Stadium is a belter of a track. Batters enjoy batting here, as they can play their strokes freely. Bowlers will have to be disciplined with their lines and lengths while bowling on this surface.
The temperature on matchday is expected to range between 9 and 23 degrees Celsius. There is no chance of rain predicted on Sunday, so a full game should ensue.
PROBABLE XI ISLAMABAD UNITED
Fifties from Alex Hales (62 off 38) and Faheem Ashraf (55 off 28) helped them put up a total on the board. Shadab Khan picked up three wickets, but the other bowlers failed to step up against the Gladiators.
Chris Jordan picked up three wickets, but they allowed Zalmi to score almost 200 runs. Babar Azam scored a fifty in response, but lack of big partnerships meant they fell short by 55 runs.
Islamabad United failed to hold their nerves against the Gladiators in their last game, suffering a loss. The Kings are yet to win a game in the competition, and need to be on their toes against United on Monday.
Islamabad look like a settled unit, so expect them to come out on top on Monday.
Prediction: Islamabad United to win this game.