Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam. (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan Super League 2020 is moving in its fag end with and the 28th game of the tournament will be played between Karachi Kings and Islamabad United. It is going to be a crucial game from the perspective of Kings, who are on the verge of qualifying into the semi-finals of the tournament. They are currently on the second position in the league table with nine points.

Kings have been dealt with a major blow as their middle-order batsman Alex Hales has travelled back to his country due to COVID-19 threats. Sohail Akhtar and Co. had a roller coaster ride throughout the tournament, who got off to a great start with a win in their opening game. Soon after that, they went off track as Kings suffered back-to-back defeats.

However, Kings returned back with a bang on performances and registered two consecutive wins. They are also coming with a much-needed momentum in this game with a convincing win against Qalandars.

On the other hand, for Islamabad United, it is going to be a do or die game in order to qualify for the semi-finals. PCB has announced a new format due to the increasing threats of COVID-19 and has turned playoffs into semi-finals. And, the winners will go onto lock horns in the finals of the T20 tournament. United got off to a worse possible start as they lost their opening game against defending champions Quetta Gladiators.

However, they soon get back into their grooves with consecutive wins. One thing that always went against them was the lack of consistency due to which today they are on the verge of getting knocked out from the tournament after struggling. At last, they have some good players in the ranks that can turn the tables in their side in a must-win game.

Team Combinations

Karachi Kings

Babar Azam and Sharjeel Khan will open the innings for their side as the duo looks in smashing form with the bat. The youngster looks like he has regained good form with the bat. They will not opt for any changes in their middle-order that comprises of Moeen Ali, Shan Masood, Khushdil Shah.

One thing that is not good for them is the absence of Alex Hales in the upcoming match, who has returned back to his home due to COVID-19 pandemic. And, he might get replaced by Mohammad Rizwan in the must-win game. Meanwhile, their bowling unit looks pretty impressive with the likes of Mohammad Amir and Chris Jordan followed by young bowlers like Usama Mir, Arshad Iqbal.

Probable XI: Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Umaid Asif, Chadwick Walton (wk), Imad Wasim (C), Mitchell McClenaghan/Chris Jordan, Usama Mir, Arshad Iqbal, Mohammad Amir

Islamabad United

Luke Ronchi and Colin Munro will walk down as the openers of their team in the upcoming game against Karachi Kings. Shadab Khan will continue batting at No.3 due to his red-hot form with the bat. He is currently the leading run-scorer for his team in PSL 2020.

They also have the services of Colin Ingram, Asif Ali and Rizwan Hussain, who can turn the games towards their team on the back of their sublime hitting skills. In bowling, they have Dale Steyn, Muhammad Musa and Akif Javed, who have done a decent job until now. But their crucial test will be against Kings in a must-win encounter to be on the safer side to qualify for the semi-finals.

Probable XI: Luke Ronchi (WK), Colin Munro, Shadab Khan (captain), Asif Ali, Colin Ingram, Rizwan Hussain, Amad Butt, Rumman Raees, Akif Javed, Dale Steyn, Muhammad Musa

Focus will be on

Luke Ronchi (Islamabad United)

Luke Ronchi is in red hot form with the bat. He has done exceedingly well for his team in the fifth edition of Pakistan Super League. So far, he has scored a total of 266 runs in eight games with a strike rate of 156.47. His performance with the bat will matter a lot in the upcoming clash from Islamabad United’s perspective.

Babar Azam (Karachi Kings)

Babar Azam is the leading run-scorer in the tournament with 294 runs in eight games in which he scored a total of three half-centuries. His run making ability is one of the main reason behind the success of Kings in this tournament. He will be a player in the focus, who can lead his side to a win in the upcoming game.

Head to Head

Matches played – 13 |Islamabad United won– 8| Karachi Kings won – 5 | NR – 0

Broadcast Details

TV – DSport

Live Streaming – Cricketgateway.com

Match Timings – 7:30 PM IST and 2:00 PM GMT