PSL3 qualifier: Islamabad United to start as favorite against Karachi Kings

Winner will go straight to the final of the mega event

Islamabad United and Karachi Kings will clash in a qualifier on Sunday in a bid to secure a place in the Pakistan Super League (PSL)’s third edition’s final, which will take place on March 25 in Karachi.

The match is of significant importance as the winner will go straight to the final, whereas the loser will play the winner of the eliminator one between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi.Both teams have already faced each other twice in the tournament, where United emerged victorious by eight wickets in the first encounter, whereas Kings registered a thumping win by seven wickets in the other match.

Islamabad United, who finished the first round of the tournament at the top of the ladder board with 14 points will go into the contest as favorites, considering their recent form.In the batting department, the team will be depending on the likes of in-form openers JP Duminy and Luke Ronchi to lead from the front, whereas youngsters Hussain Talat and Asif Ali will share the responsibility to provide a solid finish for the team.

In the fast-bowling department, the focus will be on veteran pacers Mohammad Sami and young Faheem Ashraf to provide early breakthroughs, whereas young Shadab Khan and Samit Patel will share the burden in the spin department.

For Kings, the tournament is proving to be a roller coaster of a ride, as the team had an outstanding beginning but lost their way in the middle and barely made it to the playoffs, courtesy victory in the final match.There are still doubts over the availability of captain Imad Wasim, who missed his team’s previous two matches due to head injury.

In the batting department, the team will be dependent on the like likes of Babar Azam, Joe Denly and Ravi Bopara, whereas the team management will also be hoping that stand-in captain Eoin Morgan, who will not travel to Pakistan with the team, will play an important role with the bat in his last outing in PSL3.

In the bowling department, the onus will once again going to be on the pacer Usman Khan Shinwari to continue delivering for the team, whereas the team management will be also expecting great things from veteran leg-spinner Shahid Afridi.

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