Islamabad United will attempt to reclaim the top spot on the Pakistan Super League 2018 points table when they face Multan Sultans in the league's 25th fixture in Sharjah on Tuesday.
United occupied the top spot until Quetta Gladiators defeated Peshawar Zalmi last Saturday, usurping the capital city side, thanks to their better run rate.
However, United have a game in hand, which they'll play tonight. Another win will boost their points tally to 12 and guarantee them qualification for the play-offs.
Tonight's game is the Sultans' last of their 10 league fixtures. After starting off brightly and with two straight victories, the Sultans's debut campaign has derailed, losing five of their last seven games.
A victory over United tonight will secure their qualification for the next round. A defeat will not put them out of the running but their hopes will then be pinned on how Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi fare in their remaining fixtures.
United will be without their vice-captain Rumman Raees for not just tonight's game but the rest of the tournament. The left-arm pacer had picked up a knee injury last week and though his condition has improved, the doctors and team management have decided that it's in the player's best interest to take some time off from the game.
The last time United and the Sultans faced each other, the former came out on top, registering a comfortable five-wicket win, thanks to Hussain Talat's unbeaten 48 chasing 114-run target.
Since then, United have lost all-rounder Andre Russell to injury but acquired the services of South Africa veteran JP Duminy. But more importantly, the United batting line-up has come alive since then. The Misbah-ul-Haq side is on a four-match winning run and if their batters click again, even the powerful Sultans' bowling unit will have a tough time containing them.