KARACHI: Former champions Quetta Gladiators will be aiming to keep their hopes of winning PSL 6 alive when they take on two-time champion Islamabad United in match 18 of the Pakistan Super League at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed stadium tonight (Friday).
While the Islamabad United were defeated in first game played on Wednesday after PSL’s resumption, Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side will be in action for the first time in Abu Dhabi.
After suffering the setback against Lahore Qalandars, Shadab Khan’s Islamabad United will be aiming to recover themselves in this match.
They went down to the Qalandars by five wickets after a disappointing batting display and only managed to put up 143 for 9 on the board after being sent to bat by Lahore.
Their only batsman, who could score in the 20s was Faheem Ashraf. But with a hand injury, Ashraf is set to miss Friday’s match.
Although the batting was a let down for Shadab, his bowlers did reasonably well, with Hasan Ali taking two wickets in the losing cause. Fawad Ahmed and Wasim Jnr looked in good form but they didn’t have enough runs on the board to defend.
The Quetta Gladiators are the bottom-placed team in PSL 2021. They won only one of their first five matches before the event was suspended when they had defeated Multan Sultans by 22 runs as Usman Khan hammered 81 in the last completed match in Karachi.
The Gladiators will be banking on Andre Russell, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Faf du Plessis and Azam Khan with the bat as they’re certain they can’t afford another defeat in the tournament.
This is the second leg match between the two sides. United had defeated Gladiators on March 1 in Karachi. However, all the contributors of the previous win are not available to Islamabad on Friday.
While Faheem Ashraf, who took 3 wickets then, is out due to injury. Alex Hales (scored 56) and Paul Stirling (scored 23 off 13) are not available for the Abu Dhabi leg.
Quetta Gladiators enjoy a 7-5 edge over Islamabad United in 12 matches played between the two sides so far and Sarfaraz Ahmed will be looking forward to extend this run.
Players to watch
Andre Russel, Faf du Plessis (Quetta Gladiators)
Colin Munro, Hasan Ali (Islamabad United)
Quetta Gladiators: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Abdul Nasir, Andre Russell (partially available), Arish Ali Khan, Azam Khan, Cameron Delport, Faf du Plessis, Hassan Khan, Jack Wildermuth, Jake Weatherald, Khurram Shehzad, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Usman Khan, Usman Shinwari, Zahid Mahmood and Zahir Khan.
Islamabad United: Shadab Khan (c), Ahmed Saifi Abdullah, Ali Khan, Akif Javed, Asif Ali, Brandon King, Colin Munro, Fawad Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Mohammad Akhlaq, Musa Khan, Rohail Nazir, Umar Amin, Usman Khawaja, Zafar Gohar and Zeeshan Zameer.