We have come close to the end of the first week of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and it has definitely lived up to the expectations as we have already witnessed some thrilling action. The weekend is scheduled to begin with two intriguing matches, the first being the clash between Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans.
The second match of the double-header promises to be a high-octane as two teams who have a barrage of hard-hitters on their side, Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators will lock horns at the National Stadium in Karachi.
This will be their first meeting this season. The teams have previously played each other on 15 occasions and the Quetta Gladiators find themselves slightly ahead with 8 wins. Though this time around things are different as Gladiators find themselves languishing at the bottom of the table. While Peshawar Zalmi finds themselves placed 4th in the points table.
Gladiators, despite having the big names which include the likes of Chris Gayle, Tom Banton, and Sarfaraz Ahmed have not found the spark yet and they would be hoping they get themselves off the mark in the table.
Wahab Riaz and Co. managed to bounce back strongly in their second match after being made to taste defeat in their opener against Lahore Qalandars. Multan Sultans were well in the driver’s seat after notching up 193 runs on the board. But a spirited fifty by Tom Cadmore and clinical innings of 48 and 37 by their openers- Imam-ul-Haq and Kamran Akmal, ensured the Peshawar scored their first win of the season.
Can Chris Gayle cause Havoc in the Zalmi dressing room and help his side register their first win of this season? Or will it be Wahab Raiz and Co. who register back-to-back wins?
Match Toss Time: 19:30 Local (20:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 20:00 Local (20:30 IST)
Match Venue: National Stadium, Karachi
The conditions pose no threat as a clear and sunny day awaits the players. The temperature is expected to be hovering in the 20-17 degree Celsius range and the humidity at the peak is likely to touch the 43 percent mark.
The strip in Karachi has been an absolute belter if not for the first few games. The teams have been comfortable in chasing and we saw even a score of 190 plus being chased down with ease. We are yet to see a score in excess of 200 and given the outcome of the last matches, it would not be a surprise if we see one today. Expect yet another high-scoring thriller.
Peshawar Zalmi seems to have found the mojo and for that reason would not be looking to experiment with their playing combination until and unless it is a forced one. The only change the management would be thinking of would be the replacement of Sherfane Rutherford with the English all-rounder Ravi Bopara.
Quetta Gladiators would be kicking themselves after finding themselves at the bottom of the table despite having a strong line-up. With Ben Cutting finding the going difficult with both the bat and ball, he is likely to be replaced by the Afghani leggie Qais Ahmad. The rest of the team looks well balanced and it would be too early in the tournament to make changes to the batting line-up.
Probable Playing Xl
Peshawar Zalmi (PES): Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal (wk), Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Shoaib Malik, Haider Ali, Sherfane Rutherford/Ravi Bopara, Wahab Riaz (c), Saqib Mahmood, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Imran
Quetta Gladiators (QUE): Tom Banton, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Chris Gayle, Saim Ayub, Azam Khan, Ben Cutting/ Qais Ahmad, Mohammad Nawaz, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Shinwari, Zahid Mahmood
PES vs QUE Fantasy Team
Kamran Akmal, Tom Cadmore, Imam-ul-Haq, Tom Banton, Chris Gayle, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Nawaz, Ben Cutting/Qais Ahmad, Saqib Mahmood, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Hasnain
Captain Picks: Chris Gayle (QUE), Tom Cadmore (PES)
Vice-captain Picks: Kamran Akmal (PES), Mohammad Nawaz (QUE)
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