PSL: Munro in top gear for Islamabad again

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Image courtesy Twitter account of Islamabad United
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Karachi Kings slumped to another defeat in the PSL 2021 against Islamabad United at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Dubai on Tuesday.

United have done the double over the reigning PSL champs and stay at the top of the points table, whereas the Kings slump to the fourth spot.

Former Karachi players, Colin Munro (88*) and Iftikhar Ahmed (71*), made the 191-run chase seem like a piece of cake.

The hard-hitting duo chased down the big total with eight balls and eight wickets in hand.

They had Kings captain Imad Wasim and pace spearhead Muhammad Amir come up to them for a verbal spat, but never fell for their mind games.

Munro started at a slower pace due to Usman Khawaja’s dismissal in the powerplay but accelerated once his partnership with Iftikhar was bearing fruits for United.

Babar-Zadran duo stand tall

Babar Azam seems to be scoring runs for fun now.

The Pakistan captain posted another 80+ score to help the Kings reach a fighting total.

He has been making up for continuous failures of his opening partner Sharjeel Khan.

His duel with Multan skipper, Mohammad Rizwan continues after he topped the charts with 424 runs.

Rizwan is just behind him with 408 runs.

Najibullah Zadran also got to announce his arrival in the PSL.

After being picked in the replacement draft, Afghan star Najibullah Zadran proved his worth with a fiery knock of 71* under pressure.

He added 117 runs for the third-wicket partnership with Babar Azam. However, their knocks were not enough on the day to take their side home.

Amir fails to make a case for Pakistan

Mohammad Amir has made himself available for the national side again, but his recent performances may bar him from shining in the international arena anytime soon.

The left-arm pacer has been highly rated for his deadly opening spells where he deceives the openers with just a perfect mixture of in-swingers and out-swingers.

But that has not been seen since the PSL resumed in Dubai.

Even against United on Monday, the left-arm bowler failed to claim a scalp, conceding 32 runs in his 3.4 overs.

Islamabad United 191 for 2 (Munro 88*, Iftikhar 71*) beat Karachi Kings 190 for 4 (Babar 81, Zadran 71*) by eight wickets.

Preview: Peshawar Zalmi vs Karachi Kings

The second game of the double-header night features a showdown between Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings in Dubai.

Zalmi are at the third spot in the points table, while the Kings at the fourth.

Wahab Riaz’s men pocketed eight points in eight games and Karachi has six points in seven games.

If the Kings win, they will trade places with Zalmi in the table due to a better net run rate.

Probable best performer

Babar Azam

Babar Azam does not enjoy the same captaincy privileges with Karachi Kings that he does with the national side, but his run-scoring have been amazing in both jerseys.

He was the top scorer with 345 runs last season and is likely to end up this year with the most runs ever scored in a PSL campaign.

The stylish opener has already reached 424 runs in seven games to clinch the top spot.

He looks like a man on a mission, who hasn’t had ample support from other Kings batters.

Nonetheless, he is likely to make it big against Zalmi as well.

Match prediction

Despite being highly inconsistent, defending PSL champions are likely to pull off a close win over Peshawar Zalmi.

It’s no secret that Karachi’s strength lies in their star-studded batting line-up and Zalmi will have to hit that hard to make a case for playoffs.