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Multan Sultans take on Karachi Kings in an exciting encounter to qualify for the play-offs of the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2020).

The winner of this match will directly enter the finals while the losing team has to play the second Eliminator to book a place in the summit clash.

The Sultans have won six matches and lost two in the tournament so far. Their batting received a significant boost with the power-hitter Joe Denly and the experienced Brendan Taylor who have replaced Mahmudullah Riyad and James Vince who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Shan Masood has been the key to their batting with his 253 runs.

Their bowling attack looks fine on paper with the experience of Imran Tahir and Sohail Tanvir along with the attacking Mohammad Irfan and the in-form Usman Qadir.

Karachi was placed at the second spot with five wins and four losses. 

Babar Azam has been the nucleus of their batting in this tournament top-scoring with 345 runs followed by Alex Hales at 239 runs.

They also have two wicket-taking new ball bowlers in Mohammad Amir and Chris Jordan.  Wayne Parnell has also been recently added to their team.

Team News

Multan Sultans would depend on the part-time bowling of the English duo of Moeen Ali and Ravi Bopara. Rohail Nazir who did not get even a single chance in the recently-concluded Pakistan vs Zimbabwe series would get a look in.

Karachi Kings will hope that the veteran Umaid Asif and the young Usama Mir pick wickets at regular intervals. Mohammad Rizwan and Ifthikar Ahmed hold the key to the middle order.

Pitch and Conditions

There is no chance for any turbulent weather in Karachi. The temperature is expected to hover around 30 degree Celsius without any precipitation. A fresh wicket with batting-friendly conditions is expected. The team winning the toss should ideally bat first. 160-170 runs would ideally represent a par score.

Probable Playing XI

Multan Sultans: Joe Denly, Shan Masood (C), Brendan Taylor,  Asad Shafiq, Rohail Nazir(WK), Ravi Bopara, Khushdil Shah, Sohail Tanvir, Usman Qadir, Imran Tahir, Mohammad Irfan.

Karachi Kings: Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam,  Alex Hales, Cameron Delport, Mohammed Rizwann, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim (C), Chris Jordan, Mohammad Amir, Usama Mir, Umaid Asif.

Key Battles:

Babar Azam vs Sohail Tanvir

Tanvir and Azam act as the vital cog to their team's fortunes. 

The Pakistani skipper is in sensational form having won the man of the series award in the three ODI's against Zimbabwe. He also smashed 133 runs in the first two T20's against Zimbabwe.

Tanvir is a clever left-arm pacer who does not concede many runs. He is known as a T20 specialist. His incisive lines and slower balls can trouble Azam.

Shan Masood vs Mohammad Amir

While Masood is known for his blistering starts, Amir can breathe fire with his strikes at the top of the order.

Masood has been the backbone of Multan's batting with over 250 runs this season. He also captained Southern Punjab in the recently concluded National T20 Cup as his team lost in the finals. He would look to deliver a quick start for his side.

Mohammad Amir too has fallen out of favour but still has a lot of weapons with his inswinging curler, the slanting away swinger, and the deadly yorker which can unsettle any batsman. He will aim to do the U-turn to return to the national team by making the ball do the talking.

Prediction

With both the teams equally well-matched in all the departments of the game, this match could go down to the wire.

Cricwizz predicts Karachi Kings to win the match.