Man of the Match: Ahmed Shehzad
Can the Reigning Champions make a comeback?
Our Prediction is Quetta Gladiators to win!
Reigning Champions will be looking to make a strong comeback when they face league leaders Quetta Gladiators in the 26th game of Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
2018 PSL Champions suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Peshawar Zalmi in their previous game. The franchise will have an opportunity to secure their place in the playoffs if they beat Quetta Gladiators in this game. Captain Mohammad Sami will be hoping that side can produce their best form to get the right results in their remaining fixtures of the competition.
On the other hand, Quetta Gladiators will be keen to extend their lead at the top of the league table with 12 points to their name. Gladiators produced a splendid batting performance to beat Peshawar Zalmi in their previous game played on Monday. Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed will be hoping that side can keep the momentum in the final phase of round robin games.
The side has certainly secured their place in the playoffs of the competition after comfortably brushing aside Peshawar Zalmi in their previous game. Gladiators are on a two-match winning streak and will be looking to keep their winning record intact in this game as well. Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has shown excellent leadership so far this season.
In the batting department, Gladiators will be relying on their in-form players Shane Watson, Rilee Rossouw and Umar Akmal to do the bulk of the scoring. Watson produced a match-winning performance in the previous game. He scored unbeaten 91 off 55 balls with the help of six fours and six sixes. He put on a 129-run partnership with Ahmed Shehzad to see Quetta Gladiators complete a crushing win over Peshawar Zalmi. Watson was well supported by Shehzad, who scored unbeaten 50 off 45 balls with the help of five fours.
Rilee Rossouw and Umar Akmal also have been consistent performers so far this season. The batting lineup has certainly been Gladiator’s strength this season. Sarfaraz Ahmed is also currently averaging 66.50 with the bat.
Dwayne Bravo and Mohammad Nawaz are quality all-rounders that provide value with bat and ball.
In the bowling department, the spin duo of Mohammad Nawaz and Fawad Ahmed were excellent in the previous game played against Peshawar Zalmi. Left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir has done a splendid job for Quetta Gladiators with the new-ball. He is currently franchise’s leading wicket with 12 wickets to his name.
Sarfaraz Ahmed (c &wk), Rilee Rossouw, Ahmed Shehzad, Shane Watson, Umar Akmal, Ahsan Ali, Dwayne Bravo, Mohammad Nawaz, Sohail Tanvir, Fawad Ahmed, Mohammad Hasnain
RR Rossouw, Dwayne Bravo, SR Watson, S Tanvir, Ahmed Shehzad, Azam Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Fawad Ahmed, Sarfraz Ahmed, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Nawaz
The franchise will certainly be keen to bring their A-game to the table in the remaining round-robin games in this year’s competition. Captain Mohammad Sami will be hoping that side can make a strong comeback against Quetta Gladiators.
The side will be depending on the likes of Luke Ronchi, Cameron Delport and Asif Ali to do the bulk of the scoring. Luke Ronchi is the leading run-scorer for the franchise at the moment with 233 runs in 8 matches at an average of 33.28. Middle-order batsman Asif Ali has delivered match-winning performances so far this season and has scored 202 runs in 8 matches at an average of 33.66.
Cameron Delport found form with the bat in the previous game played against Peshawar Zalmi. He scored 71 off 55 balls with the help of eight fours and a six. Delport will be relieved with this innings after struggling to get any runs for the side this season.
Philip Salt and Chadwick Walton also chipped in with crucial scores for Islamabad in the previous game played against Peshawar Zalmi.
In the bowling department, the spin duo of Zafar Gohar and Shadab Khan did most of the damage with the ball and picked up wickets between them against Peshawar. Apart from the spinners, Faheem Ashraf has been most consistent performer for the side this season with 9 wickets to his name.
Mohammad Sami (captain), Luke Ronchi, Cameron Delport, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Philip Salt, Faheem Ashraf, Zafar Gohar, Samit Patel/Chadwick Walton, Shadab Khan, Rumman Raees
Zafar Gohar, Amad Butt, Luke Ronchi, Philip Salt, Cameron Delport, Asif Ali, Mohammad Sami, SR Patel, Rizwan Hussain, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan
The pitch will certainly be on the slower side. The batsmen will have to work hard for their runs on this surface. The weather forecast for the game is going to be clear skies.
Islamabad United is going to play their first game in Abu Dhabi. League leaders Quetta Gladiators were victorious in their previous game at the venue.
It will be better option to win the toss and bat first. The spinners will definitely get assistance from the sluggish nature of the pitch.
High-Flying Quetta Gladiators have notched up two wins in a row and will be looking to maintain unbeaten streak against Islamabad United. Reigning Champions will need to bat well in order to beat Quetta in this contest.
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