Newcomers Multan Sultan have made a pitch-perfect to Pakistan Super League 2018 after comfortably winning their games against Quetta Gladiators and Lahore Qalandars. Things have worked for Multan as a unit as batting and bowling have clicked in both the games. Sultans will be keen to get their third win on the trot when they take on Islamabad United on Sunday.
Kumar Sangakkara has been in sublime form after producing two half-centuries in the two games played so far. Ahmed Shehzad also came good in the last game against Lahore Qalandars. Sohaib Maqsood needs to do better with the bat coming in at no.3 while Darren Bravo might get promoted up the order to increase his utility with the bat.
Captain Shoaib Malik played an important knock for the side in the second game of the competition. Kieron Pollard is a world-class all-rounder who can win games of cricket with bat and ball.
On the bowling front, Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan have been superb so far in the first two games. Sohail Tanvir and Imran Tahir have been accurate as a backup bowler for Multan Sultans.
On the other hand, Islamabad United lost their first game against reigning champions Peshawar Zalmi. One-time league winners looked bit rusty and it might take some games to get them going as a side. United’s batting looks a concern as Luke Ronchi and Chadwick Walton will need to produce runs at the top of the innings. Walton is an accomplished T20 player and has done well in the Caribbean Premier League last season. United will be hoping that he can produce big runs for them in this game.
Asif Ali is relatively inexperienced coming at no.3 but will have an opportunity to go out and make an impression with the bat. Iftikhar Ahmed and Hussain Talat are unknown commodities in the competition for Islamabad United in the batting order. Misbah-ul-Haq might be back in place of any of the youngsters in the batting lineup.
Samit Patel is a good T20 player who needs to bat up the order to produce good scores. The side has a luxury of two good all-rounders in Andre Russell and Shadab Khan who can produce crucial contributions with bat and ball. Faheem Ashraf might get a promotion up the order in order to quick runs for the side. Ashraf scored 54 runs and smashed six boundaries coming in at 9 for the side.
The bowling looks decent so far with Mohammad Sami and Rumman Raees doing well as-new ball pair. Shadab Khan and Andre Russell are good options with the ball in the middle phase of the innings.
It will be interesting how Islamabad United perform against red-hot Multan Sultans.
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