Arabians look to open their account against upbeat Qalandars!
Fresh from drubbing the defending champions Northern Warriors, Qalandars will look to extend the momentum as they take on the Maratha Arabians.
Bravo's Men were outplayed in their opening encounter but that loss doesn't really tell you how good a side they are. Arabians batsmen were below-par in the tournament opener and it's safe to say that they will be keen to make amends.
Qalandars who are unbeaten in the tournament so far have made a plethora of changes to their squad due to the ongoing crisis between PCB and contracted Pakistan players. The new additions have adapted to the task quickly and there is plenty of experience in the ranks. The batting does seem to depend solely on a few players and that's one area they would want to sort out.
Their bowling isn't too formidable and their duel with the powerful Arabians batsmen could well decide the fate of this fixture. The Qalandars did defend well in their previous game but it's about putting consistent performances on the bounce.
Tom Banton's form has been the biggest plus for them so far. The young player from England has been the rising star this year in T20 cricket and he showed his class in the previous game with a quick 16. Skipper Malan also looked good in the opening game, making 33 in 18 balls. But the Qalandars will need other batsmen to step up. As of now, the Qalandars have a decent batting line-up while the bowling could be a problem under pressure. Chris Jordan will have to take on the responsibility of leading the attack.
T Banton, L Ronchi(wk), D Malan(c), P Salt, L Evans, J Clark, C Jordan, S Prasanna, L Kumara, G Garton, S Ahmed
S Prasanna, Jordan Clark, SR Patel, George Garton, Lahiru Kumara, Sultan Ahmed, Dawid Malan, Chris Jordan, Philip Salt, Luke Ronchi, Tom Banton
The Arabians are missing some world-class hitters due to national commitments but they still do have a decent squad for this fixture. Chris Lynn will need to shoulder extra responsibility in the absence of the other star players and the Aussie can be a dangerous customer on his day. Skipper Bravo's form is another vital component for the team, given the all-rounder's impact across departments. The bowling department also has some seasoned T20 campaigners like Malinga and McCleneghan and it's all about stringing together collective performances.
A Lyth, C Lynn, C Walton(wk), Y Singh, D Bravo(c), D Shanaka, J Fuller, W Hasaranga, M McClenaghan, L Malinga, S Ahmed
Chadwick Walton, Dwayne Bravo, Mitchell McClenaghan, James Fuller, Yuvraj Singh, Dasun Shanaka, Chris Lynn, Wanidu Hasaranga, Shiraz Ahmed, Adam Lyth, Lasith Malinga
The forecast for the evening is clear in Abu Dhabi with temperatures hovering around the mid-20s or thereabout. Humidity is expected to be average. The pitches are generally good for batting but the big ground dimensions, especially square of the wicket, should keep the bowlers interested as well.
Sheikh Zayed Stadium is one of the finest grounds in UAE and has been known for its quality infrastructure. Average score batting first on the second day of T10 League was 110.
The track at Abu Dhabi will get slower as the tournament progresses, which will make run scoring tough. Two games were won by the side batting first on Saturday, and teams might want to put runs on the board after winning the toss.
Despite the contrasting performances of the two teams in their previous games, Arabians look the more balanced side when compared to the Qalandars. Therefore, Bravo's men are firm favorites to win this clash.