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Sharjeel Khan upbeat to carry form and confidence against Islamabad United tonight
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Sharjeel Khan upbeat to carry form and confidence against Islamabad United tonight

Sharjeel Khan garnered a lot of attention before the start of this year's HBL PSL as he returned to the fold after a three-year hiatus. 

Karachi Kings have had put their faith in the belligerent southpaw despite his lukewarm performances for the most part of the tournament but he has repaid his team management's faith the other day by slamming 74 run off just 59 deliveries.

He did get off to a shaky start and was helped by some ragged fielding by Lahore Qalandars but he made sure to feast on the errors.

"I was timing the ball nicely and I wanted to bat deep and spend time on the crease. I tried to convert my start into a big score," Sharjeel remarked.

Sharjeel, quite understandably, after making a comeback after enforced hibernation owing to his involvement in fixing dearly wanted some games under his belt to locate his mojo and he was all praise for the Kings' support staff and his captain.

"I will give full credit to coach Dean Jones, Wasim Akram and especially my captain Imad Wassim; they supported me right from the first match till now and they motivated me a lot," Sharjeel added.

"I felt a big innings was due and I wanted to win a match for my team with a good performance. PSL is at a very important stage and I will strive to focus well in the remaining two matches and I hope to continue with good performances."

Amidst coronavirus outbreak, the remaining PSL matches are being held behind closed doors which is a double-edged sword; on one hand, it had to be done for the safety of spectators but it also takes the fun away from not only fans but players as well.

"In these circumstances, we have to follow the guidelines and definitely it won't be fun to play in the absence of crowds," Sharjeel opined.

Sharjeel shed light on his time of idleness and said that remaining steadfast in staging a comeback and maintaining a "consistent mindset" has helped him deliver the goods.

"It isn't easy to return back to competitive cricket after three years and make a comeback and in the time isolation, I used to play wherever I could. 

"If you keep working hard with a consistent mindset and keep trying, you get success like I got today. I have got a lot of confidence with my innings today," Sharjeel said in the post-match conference after thumping win against Qalandars. 

Up against Islamabad United, Kings will be looking to consolidate their position on the points table and carry the winning momentum into the semifinals. 

Meanwhile, Islamabad United haven't lived up to their reputation akin to Quetta Gladiators this season and are hanging by a thread as far as their chances are concerned to progress in this PSL.

United haven't got the weather gods on their side this season as they got DLS against them on one occasion and in the last match, they got outgunned by a rampant Multan Sultans in a rain-truncated game.

First, Multan bowlers didn't let United get off the hook as they lost wickets at regular intervals and then Multan batsmen made light work of the target as James Vince smashed a blistering half-century. It was a treat to watch his clean hitting as he regaled the crowd at Rawalpindi on March 8.

Karachi have been peaking at the right time as they gave a fitting riposte to Lahore Qalandars in their backyard as they chased down 151 without a loss of any wicket and absolutely deflated the spirits of out of sorts Qalandars side. Will they be able to stretch their winning streak against struggling United tonight?