Match: Karachi Kings vs Islamabad United (KK vs IU, PSL 2021)
Date: 7:30 PM IST.
Venue: National Stadium, Karachi.
Head to Head in T20s
Overall: Both teams have locked horns with each other 14 times in T20, with Islamabad United beating Karachi Kings on 8 occasions, and the former winning on the remaining 6 occasions.
Last 5 matches: Islamabad United have beaten Karachi Kings 3 out of 5 times, with all three of their wins in PSL 2019 – twice during the league stage and once during playoffs. Meanwhile, Karachi Kings won both the encounters in PSL 2020.
A clash of the titans awaits the cricket fraternity as defending champions Karachi Kings lock horns with the 2-time PSL champions Islamabad United in the 6th match of PSL 2021.
Both teams would be heading into this contest on the back of comfortable wins in their recent outing.
Led by Imad Wasim, Karachi Kings beat Quetta Gladiators in 13.5 overs and 7 wickets in hand as they chased down the 122-run target on the back of blistering knocks from Joe Clarke (46) and Mohammad Nabi (30*).
Pacers Arshad Iqbal (3/16) and Waqas Maqsood (2/21) scalped the bulk of wickets, while Mohammad Amir (1/14) surfaced as the economical from the lot.
For Islamabad United, it was Lewis Gregory’s all-round assistance comprising 2/31 with the ball and an unbeaten 31-ball 49 that garnered them 2 points, an NRR of +0.447, and 3rd spot in the points table.
Chasing 151 runs in 20 overs turned out to be trickier for the Shadab Khan-led side as they lost wickets in clusters during the middle-overs. The outcome could have been different if not for the timely knocks from Gregory and Faheem Ashraf (22).
Weather Report & Pitch Report
There will be clear skies throughout with the temperature hovering between 25 to 23 degrees Celsius. Humidity levels will be as high as 77 percent in the second innings, making the conditions easier for the batters as the match progresses. Opting to bat first would be the ideal option as all four matches played so far have been won by the chasing team.
Babar Azam vs Hasan Ali
Strike rate: 91.43
Alex Hales vs Imad Wasim
Strike rate: 223.53
Karachi Kings’ Team News & Probable XI
Arguably, Karachi Kings have one of the best lineups in the tournament. They wouldn’t want to make any changes in the winning combination.
Babar Azam: One of the best timers and consistent run-scorers in the shortest format, Babar’s inclusion comes as a no-brainer for the upcoming T20. He was the highest run-getter in PSL 2020, amassing 473 runs with 5 fifties and averaging close to 60.
Colin Ingram: A clean striker of the ball and a proven match-winner on his day, Ingram in the middle-order provides the firepower needed to set huge totals. With an experience of 276 T20s and over 6900 runs under the belt, the southpaw has got runs in all the major T20 tournaments across the globe, and thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if he racks up a mammoth tally versus Shadab Khan & Co.
Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan, Colin Ingram, Joe Clarke, Mohammad Nabi, Daniel Christian, Imad Wasim (c), Mohammad Amir, Aamer Yamin, Waqas Maqsood, Arshad Iqbal
Islamabad United Team News & Probable XI
The opening duo of Alex Hales and Philip Salt would have to set the tone for a competitive total. Salt, in particular, would be hoping to get some runs to his name as he’s had a bit inconsistent run in the T20s played off late. As far as playing XI is concerned, it doesn’t look like Islamabad United would affect any changes post the victory in the previous game.
Alex Hales: The Australian cricketer has been in terrific form with the bat in the last couple of months and would be raring to go emulate his BBL 2020-21 heroics in the ongoing tournament.
He was striking at a rate of 145 in the last outing against Multan Sultans before being dismissed on a peach of a delivery from Shahid Afridi. Having played 287 T20s and amassed close to 8000 runs, there’s no limit to the carnage he can command once he establishes a foothold in the middle.
Shadab Khan: The all-rounder had a rare failure in the last game but remains a vital cog from Islamabad United for KK vs IU fantasy XI.
Last season, he was among the leading run-getter for his franchise, scoring 263 runs at an average of 37-plus and a strike rate of 159.39, including 8 wickets at an economy of 8.24. His leg-breaks and googlies can do wonders in the middle-overs to cut the opposition’s scoring to an extent.
Alex Hales, Philip Salt (wk), Asif Ali, Shadab Khan (c), Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Lewis Gregory, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Zafar Gohar.
Also Read: The 8 Biggest Fantasy Cricket Blunders
Match Prediction for KK vs IU
Karachi Kings have some of the best T20 cricketers in their batting lineup that could give them an upper hand over Islamabad United. Not just the batting, they have plenty of reliable wicket-taking bowlers who could affect dismissals under clutch circumstances and shift the momentum in their team’s favor. For Islamabad United, the over-reliance on the top-order could once again pose a threat in its contest.
Captain & Vice-Captain Selections for KK vs IU
Captain picks: Alex Hales, Colin Ingram
Vice-captain picks: Babar Azam, Shadab Khan.
KK vs IU MPL Fantasy XI
Wicket-keepers: J Clarke
Batsmen: B Azam (vc), C Ingram, A Hales (c).
All-rounders: I Wasim, M Wasim, S Khan, I Gregory.
Bowlers: A Iqbal, H Ali, M Amir.
Also Read: How to play fantasy cricket on MPL