After another disappointing campaign where they finished bottom of the IPL 2018 ladder, Delhi have not only made changes to their roster but also their name as they have switched from the Daredevils to the Capitals.
Kings XI Punjab have gone through more change than most IPL teams in the off-season as they changed coaching staff along with a major part of their roster. Head Coach Brad Hodge departed in August and he was replaced by Mike Hesson – a Kiwi who was up until recently head coach of the BlackCaps national team.
Afghanistan were dominant in the T20 series but the gap closed in the ODIs as Ireland won the fifth match to tie the series 2-2. The tourists have been able to compete better in the longer format and as they have acclimatised to conditions also, so that should make this Test competitive.
Both of these two teams finished level on points in the group with five wins each but Islamabad’s performances were the better of the two teams. The fact they can count on Alex Hales for the knockout stage will also give them a big boost. Karachi have improved as the tournament has progressed, but they are still far from convincing.
New Zealand have dominated both Test matches so far but their performance in the second Test was even more convincing than the first. Ross Taylor’s spectacular 200 came off just 212 balls as his side claimed another victory having only batted once in the rain-affected game.
The top two teams in the PSL ladder meet in the first qualifier in what should be a fascinating match. Peshawar Zalmi topped the standings but lost twice to Quetta Gladiators in the group phase so they will be desperate to put a marker down here and prove they can beat them.
South Africa will be looking to turn the screw against Sri Lanka as they chase a series whitewash having built a 3-0 lead heading into the fourth game. The home side claimed another comfortable win in game 3 and have recalled some familiar faces ahead of this match.
India and Australia have served up a thrilling ODI series that nobody wants to see come to an end but if the fifth and final game lives up to expectations then it should be a thrilling finale. Australia broke all kinds of records to chase down India’s huge total and have the momentum heading into the series decider.
A fascinating match-up in this final group stage match between two teams that have already qualified for the knockout phase. Karachi will be buoyed by their win on Sunday and determined to do well in front of their home fans.
Both of these teams have been poor in this edition of the PSL but their campaigns have been hampered by injuries and international call-ups. The Qalandars will have genuinely thought that their chances would have come down to this final day of matches in the group stage but Karachi’s miraculous win on Sunday robbed them of that.
England were comprehensive winners in the second T20 match and they can complete a whitewash to end the tour of West Indies on a high if they can win the third and final game. The West Indies will be determined to bounce back from their horror-show but face a tough task to turn around that level of performance.
Ireland’s bowlers have made this series competitive so far and they are keeping them in all of the matches played. The Irish will be content chasing once again here and will be confident of restricting Afghanistan to a modest score, but they desperately need their batsmen to regain some form.
All the motivation and urgency coming into this game is with the Karachi Kings against the Quetta Gladiators who have already qualified for the knockout phase. The Kings will have support on their side in Karachi too but it will be interesting to see how they play with the pressure in this game.
Australia deservedly kept the series alive with their first ODI win overseas since 2017 preventing India from taking an unassailable lead into the fourth match. Virat Kohli scored another century but it wasn’t enough as his side failed to chase down the 314 they were set to win.