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PSL 2018: Qualifier - Islamabad United v Karachi Kings - Preview

Alex Hales will be hoping to make an impact in the play-off
Alex Hales will be hoping to make an impact in the play-off
©REUTERS
 

Game: Qualifier: Islamabad United v Karachi Kings
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium
Timings: 04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM Local

As the Pakistan Super League reaches the play-off stage, Islamabad United and Karachi Kings will meet each other in the Qualifers at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

The advantage of finishing in the top two means, both the sides will have another opportunity to make it to the final even if they lose the game.

Islamabad United's six-game losing streak was ended by Karachi Kings in the final group stage game. However, they rested their in-form Luke Ronchi for the game and he will be entering the game after scoring three half-centuries from four games and will once again be the key to get them off to a flying start. The presence of JP Duminy is debatable. He has been among the runs but the strike-rate is a matter of concern but with Alex Hales coming at number three they will be hoping for the South African to bat through the innings. Asif Ali has been good along with Husain Talat but they lack impetus in the lower middle order to lead them to a strong finish. They did tinker the bowling combination a bit and handed rests to Samit Patel and Mohammad Sami but they should be back in the place of Zafar Gohar and Steven Finn as they seek to reach the final first.

Karachi Kings had a dull second half of the tournament having won just two in their last seven encounters but they won the decisive final game against Islamabad United which stormed them into a top two finish. A lot will depend on the top order of Babar Azam and Joe Denly while Eoin Morgan is yet to make an impact despite handed over captaincy straightaway from his international duty. Colin Ingram and Shahid Afridi will be hoping for a strong platform from the top order to provide a late flourish to the innings. Usman Khan's performance against Islamabad United will be heartening and will take the new ball with Mohammad Amir while Afridi has been consistent with the ball.

Squads:

Karachi Kings: Khurram Manzoor, Joe Denly, Babar Azam, Eoin Morgan (captain), Colin Ingram, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Irfan Jnr, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan, Tymal Mills, Lendl Simmons, Usama Mir, Tabish Khan, Saifullah Bangash, Ravi Bopara, Hasan Mohsin, David Wiese, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Taha

Islamabad United: Jean-Paul Duminy, Alex Hales, Chadwick Walton (wk), Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Amad Butt, Zafar Gohar, Steven Finn, Sam Billings, Mohammad Hasan, Samit Patel, Samuel Badree, Mohammad Sami, Rohail Nazir, Luke Ronchi, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sahibzada Farhan

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