Islamabad United have played one game so far in which they overwhelmed Peshawar Zalmi by nine wickets. United chased the 169-run target with 25 balls to spare after losing just one wicket.
Shadab Khan’s United looked solid in their opener and played well against a tough side that had already won a game in the six-team event.
Irish batsman Paul Stirling (57) and Alex Hales (82) were seen in great touch, particularly the former who managed big strokes with ease to unsettle Zalmi’s bowling.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, a young Afghan cricketer, hit a few glorious strokes in his unbeaten 16-ball 27. However, it is yet to be seen how United’s other batsmen respond as they remain untested. But it is a fact that their top order has a sting and it is a big plus for United.
United also have Azam Khan and Asif Ali, both of whom have the ability to plunder runs in no time. Faheem Ashraf is also a good batsman. The bowling all-rounder bowled with excellent accuracy and variety against Zalmi, finishing with 2-23 in four overs.
Their pace battery has Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim Junior and South African Test pacer Marchant de Lanage besides having the assistance of spinners Shadab Khan and Mubasir Khan.
Meanwhile, Multan Sultans, with three wins from three games, are in fine nick. The way Multan downed Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars in their initial two games was impressive.
Shan Masood and skipper Mohammad Rizwan are in great form. Shan has scored one 50 and Rizwan managed half centuries in the first two matches they have played. Hard-hitting Sohaib Maqsood was seen in fine touch and his management will be happy with the way he is timing the ball.
On Monday, Sultans had a tough time against Gladiators, however, David Willey’s last over wickets and Shan Masood’s 88-run knock sealed the deal for Multan Sultans.
The Sultans are still at the top of the points table with six points to their name as they have not yet lost a single of the three matches they’ve played so far.
Shahnawaz Dahani, Imran Khan Senior, David Willey and Ihsanullah are the pace bowling resources at the disposal of Rizwan. It is going to be an interesting game given the kind of form both teams carry.
So far, nine matches have been played between the two sides with Islamabad United pocketing victories in five matches and Multan Sultans emerging victorious in four outings.
In Karachi, one game between the two sides has been played so far, which was won by United, record two-time champions. Shozab Raza and Michael Gough will supervise the match, while Iftikhar Ahmed will be the match referee.