NOTE: Stats updated until 22 February 2021
Both Karachi Kings and Islamabad United began their respective 2021 Pakistan Super League campaigns with wins and they will look to build on that momentum when they face each other in Karachi on Wednesday (February 24). While the Kings are the defending champions, United are the most successful franchise in the league, having won the tournament twice.
Islamabad have an edge when you consider past contests between the two sides, winning eight out of 14 matches. While Karachi won both games last season, Islamabad had won each of their four previous meetings before that in the PSL.
Overall: Matches – 14 | Karachi Kings – 6 Wins | Islamabad United – 8 Wins
Last 5 Matches: Karachi Kings – 2 Wins | Islamabad United – 3 Wins
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
GROUND DETAILS & TEAM COMBINATION
The first 20 matches in PSL 2021 will be held at the National Stadium in Karachi and four games have been played so far. Interestingly, in all those four contests, the teams winning the toss have opted to bowl first and each of them have gone on to win. The average run-rate in those matches has been 8 while the bowling strike rate has been 18.9.
Pacers have bowled a bulk of the overs (70.5%) and taken most of the wickets (80.5%) so far, in addition to having a superior bowling strike rate (16.5 versus 28.5) as well, and that’s the reason we’ve gone with a pace-heavy bowling line-up. Five out of the six players we’ve selected among front-line bowlers and all-rounders are pacers.
When it comes to captaincy, it’s tough to look past Babar Azam who has been incredibly consistent in T20 cricket. He was the Player of the Tournament in PSL 2020, after top-scoring with 473 runs at an average of 59.1. Between 2018-20, Babar averaged more than 45 in T20 cricket in each year, with that number as high as 56.5 in 2020.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Babar could score 16-39 runs in this match.
Alex Hales has been in excellent form recently and that is why we have selected him as the vice-captain of our team. In the recently held Big Bash League, he was the top run-scorer and he began the PSL season by scoring 29 off 20 deliveries against Multan Sultans. Since the start of 2020, no batsman has scored more runs in T20 cricket than Hales – 1500 runs at an average of 34.9 and strike rate of 154.3.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Hales could score 14-37 runs in this match.
If you are looking at selecting an all-rounder as captain or vice-captain, then Daniel Christian could be an option. The Australian cricketer had a very good BBL season recently and played a big role in Sydney Sixers winning the tournament. In 2021, he has scored 179 runs and taken 10 wickets in 12 T20 matches so far.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Christian could score 9-26 runs and could take 0-1 wickets in this match.
Shadab Khan did not pick up a single wicket during Pakistan’s T20I series in New Zealand in December 2020. While that might discourage you from selecting him, his ability to contribute with both bat and ball is something that makes him a good option in fantasy cricket. In United’s first match, he batted at No.3 and if he continues to do so, he should be a valuable player in fantasy cricket.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Shadab could score 7-24 runs and could take 1-2 wickets in this match.