The 4th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019 will be played between Islamabad United and Multan Sultan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Islamabad United clinch PSL opener against Lahore Qalandars, courtesy Asif, Faheem’s late heroics. In reply to a good score of 171 by Lahore Qalandars, Islamabad United put up a very disciplined show as most of their batters contributed to their victory. Luke Ronchi scored a 17-ball 27.
Rizwan Hussain and Cameron Delport also scored at a reasonable clip. Hussain Talat made a 31-ball 37 but it were knocks from Asif Ali and Faheem Ashraf which helped the team to get over the line with four balls remaining.
Asif Ali showed his ability in T20s yet again and slammed three sixes and two fours to take his team to the desired result. Earlier, it was due to the disciplined bowling of last year’s hero Faheem Ashraf that did not allow the Lahore Qalandars to run away with the match.
Unlike Islamabad United, Multan Sultans lost their first match of the season by seven runs. Chasing a daunting total of 184, the Sultans got off to a very slow start and were struggling till skipper Shoaib Malik came to the crese and smashed Ravi Bopara all over the park to infuse some life into the innings.
Now Defending champions Islamabad United will take the field against the exuberant Multan Sultans on a hot steamy Saturday evening in Dubai. While both sides have brilliant names on paper, there might be a good contest.
This game promises to be a cracker of a contest and a good crowd turn up is expected considering it’s a Saturday afternoon encounter to go with some legendary names in action like Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and Andre Russell.
Date: Saturday, February 16, 2019
Timing: 04:30 PM PKT
Weather: Weather is expected to be sunny with a few clouds into the afternoon.
Conditions / Pitch Report:The Dubai surface should suit the spin bowlers but there is enough in the balanced pitch for the batsmen and seamers too. The pitch has been decent enough for batting, especially in the second half of a game. and that can be comprehended from the results of the last few matches.
Head to Head:
Matches: 2 | Islamabad United: 2 | Multan Sultans: 0 | NR: 0
- Islamabad United 185/4 beat Multan Sultans 152/10
- Islamabad United 117/5 beat Multan Sultans 113/10
Islamabad United: W W W L W (completed matches, most recent first)
Multan Sultans: L L L L L
1. Islamabad United
No changes are expected from Islamabad after a calculated run chase against Lahore Qalandars. Faheem Ashraf’s all-round performance did pave the way for a win but Islamabad United management would be worried about their batsmen’s inability to convert promising thirties into daunting scores.
So Rizwan Hussain and Luke Ronchi will be opening the innings with Cameron Delport, Hussain Talat and Philip Salt coming in the middle order. Asif Ali, Samit Patel, Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan add more depth to their batting.
Philip Salt fell cheaply in the previous game but could be persisted with considering his ability to clear the ropes with ease.
Islamabad United’s Probable XI:
1. Luke Ronchi (wk), 2. Sahibzada Farhan, 3. Ian Bell, 4. Cameron Delport, 5. Asif Ali, 6. Hussain Talat, 7. Shadab Khan, 8. Samit Patel, 9. Faheem Ashraf, 10. Mohammad Sami (c), 11. Rumman Raees
2. Multan Sultans
Multan Sultans had a disappointing opening match as they lost to Karachi Kings in their opening match. They have played only a match and lost it. Currently placed at 5th position in points table.
Charles is expected come into side replacing Moores. Evans and Shoaib Malik were good with bat and the team will expect another good innings from both.
Tom Moores could make way for Johnson Charles at the top of the order while the bowling unit should remain the same after a good comeback towards the end of the innings.
The experience of Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan makes their bowling attack looks pretty solid. To add to that, they have all-rounders like Shahid Afridi and Andre Russell, who can win games single-handedly for the side. Chris Green and Mohammad Ilyas are the options for skipper Malik.
Multan Sultan’s Probable XI:
1. Shan Masood, 2. Johnson Charles (wk), 3. Joe Denly, 4. Shoaib Malik (c), 5. Andre Russell, 6. Hammad Azam, 7. Shahid Afridi, 8. Dan Christian, 10. Junaid Khan, 11. Mohammad Abbas, 12. Mohammad Irfan
Players to watch:
1. Andre Russel – Batsman, Lahore Qalandars
Andre Russel is always a dangerous player when it comes to the shortest format of the game. One of the most powerful hitters of the ball, Russel doesn’t need any time to adjust and can switch gears in an instant.
2. Luke Ronchi – Batsman, Islamabad United
What Andre Russel is to Multan Sultans, Luke Ronchi is to Islamabad United. Ronchi is a natural when it comes to big knocks and could be a lethal player for the Islamabad United. A player of his quality is always a danger for opposition bowlers as he often tends to take the game away with his maximums.
Luke Ronchi ended as the highest run-scorer and the man of the tournament last year with 435 runs from 11 matches which included five half-centuries would definitely be a player to watch.
3. Shadab Khan – Bowler, Islamabad United
Ranked No 3 in the world ratings for T20 bowlers, the leg-spinner was an integral part of Islamabad’s title win last year. He still only 20, but has long been a mainstay both at international and franchise level. He is held in such high regard that he has been elevated to the role of Islamabad vice-captain, as understudy to veteran quick bowler Mohammed Sami.
4. Shahid Afridi – All-rounder, Multan Sultans
Multan needed someone to play an innings according to the stipulations. Shahid Afridi is one of the best hitter of the ball in the world and can dismantle any bowling attack on his day.
5. Shoaib Malik – All-rounder, Multan Sultans
Multan Sultan’s skipper Shoaib Malik is a utility player. While there may be someone who steals the spotlight, Malik will be very consistent for Sultans. Malik reads the game very well and tunes his batting accordingly.
Highest Total: 185/4 by IU v MS at Sharjah in 2018
Highest Score: 73 by Kieron Pollard in 2018
Best Bowling: Rumman Raees 3.5-0-13-3 v IU in 2018 at Dubai