|Finished.118/10 (17.1) - 122/4 (17.1)|
Given how strong they look, it might just be the year for Islamabad United’s 3rd title. Destroying any hopes the others had that the two-time champions would be as miserable this year as they were last year, United have come charging into the fray with two wins out of two. Next up, however, they go up against another team that, after a poor start, has really come into its own. The Peshawar Zalmi look absolutely monumental with the bat, chasing down two 190+ totals in as many matches. Although that doesn’t say much about how they have been with the ball, if they can chase such targets down, they won’t complain. The Zalmi will want to prevent United from winning 3 out of 3, but United will definitely love such a start to their campaign. Before the two teams go at each other’s throats, let’s take a look at how they stand.
Shadab Khan (c), Alex Hales, Phil Salt (wk), Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Lewis Gregory, Mohammad Wasim, Ali Khan.
Preview and form
Although they won their last match, Islamabad United won’t be too happy about how their bowlers did. Despite using a ridiculous 8 bowlers while bowling first against the Karachi Kings, Only Hasan Ali and Hussain Talat managed to take a wicket each, and only Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Wasim managed to keep the run rate at a reasonable level. The end result was a massive target of 197. The chase didn’t start well as two of the first three batsmen fell for ducks, but three 40+ innings by Alex Hales, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Hussain Talat, and cameos by Faheem Ashraf and Asif Ali saw United clinch an important victory with 5 wickets and as many deliveries to spare.
Alex Hales: The deadliest batsman at this year’s BBL seems to have awoken for a similar stint in the PSL.
Faheem Ashraf: Lifting Faheem up the order seems to be a good move, and we think we’ll see good stuff from him.
Hasan Ali: Hasan seems to like the National Stadium pitch, and we’re sure we’ll see some incisive bowling from him soon.
Mohammad Wasim: Wasim was able to keep his run rate in check in a match where his teammates were destroyed.
Wahab Riaz (c), Kamran Akmal (wk), Imam-ul-Haq, Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Sherfane Rutherford, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Saqib Mahmood, Amad Butt, Mohammad Imran.
Preview and form
Nothing like a couple of big wins to make you forget about a poor start. In their previous match, the Zalmi bowled first against the Gladiators. Despite a horrific beginning and some seriously expensive overs, 3 wickets in the last over by Saqib Mahmood, two from an otherwise battered Wahab Riaz, and a wicket and some economical bowling by Mohammad Imran helped them keep their target just below 200. On the chase, Imam-ul-Haq’s 41 from 30 was an okay start, but it was Haider Ali’s 50 off 29, Shoaib Malik’s 34 off 20, Sherfane Rutherford’s 36 from 18, and Wahab Riaz’s cameo of 20 that got IU home with 3 wickets and 3 balls to spare.
Haider Ali: Haider’s match-winning half century was definitely not a one-off.
Sherfane Rutherford: The Caribbean all-rounder is more than handy when it comes to the slog overs.
Mohammad Imran: With some excellent performances, Imran is quickly making himself known as a threat.
Saqib Mahmood: The Brit might leak some runs, but he picks up wickets to make up for it.
Islamabad United vs Peshawar Zalmi weather conditions and pitch report
As the winds die down and the temperature falls with the evening getting older, conditions in the middle should be as perfect as cricket can ever get from mother nature.
The pitch at Karachi’s National Stadium seems to be tailor-made not just for fast bowlers and batsmen, but for chasing. Eight out of eight matches so far have been won by the team batting second, with even near-200 targets being assailed. No score that begins with a 1 seems to be safe.
Can United keep up their winning streak to assert dominance over the others? Or will Zalmi take them down to climb to the top of the table? Find out if our Islamabad United versus Peshawar Zalmi predictions come true on Saturday!
|IU Top Batsman:|
|PZ Top Batsman:|
|IU Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|PZ Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|Players to score a fifty:|
|A Hales/F Ashraf (IU), H Ali/S Rutherford (PZ)|
|Players to score a century:|