The fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is fast approaching as the clock ticks down to the season opener in the UAE.
The six PSL franchises will once again battle it out for the crown of Pakistan’s best in the T20 extravaganza spread over the course of five weeks.
Ahead of a mouthwatering edition of T20 action, we profile the defending champions Islamabad United, who have won the crown twice in their history.
Mohammad Sami (C), Luke Ronchi, Sahibzada Farhan, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Faheem Ashraf, Zafar Gohar, Waqas Maqsood, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Ian Bell, Philip Salt, Cameron Delport, Samit Patel, Muhammad Musa, Wayne Parnell, Zahir Khan, Amad Butt, Rizwan Hussain, Nasir Nawaz.
Skipper – Mohammad Sami
The two-time champions will be led by former Pakistan international Sami, who is the second highest wicket-taker in the league’s history.
The Islamabad outfit are the most successful franchise in the tournament’s history and won the inaugural edition in 2016 before capturing their second title in 2018. They were eliminated in the playoffs in 2017 to finish fourth.
Coach – Dean Jones
The former Australia international has been at the helm of the team since the inaugural edition in 2016 and will take charge for the fourth year in a row.
Key players – Luke Ronchi (New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman), Shadab Khan (Pakistan spin all-rounder), Faheem Ashraf (Pakistan seam all-rounder)
In Shadab, Faheem, Sahibzada Farhan, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat and Rumman Raees, Islamabad have plenty of exciting Pakistan-capped youngsters in the squad who are capable to being match-winners on their day. They also have Ronchi in tow who was the highest run-getter in the 2018 edition.
While their domestic contingent is one of the strongest, the international picks leave plenty to be desired in the form of former England batsman Ian Bell, now 36, and South African duo Cameron Delport and Wayne Parnell. Finding the right balance between the domestic and international players will be key for Islamabad.
Prediction – Playoffs
It could prove to be a tough title defence for Islamabad United with plenty of other franchises strengthening massively. They should be good to make the playoffs at least from where onwards it will be anybody’s game.
The fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is all set to get underway in the UAE on February 14 in what promises to be a blockbuster five weeks of T20 action.
As was the case in the third edition, six franchises will fight it out for the title of Pakistan’s best T20 outfit with Islamabad United looking to defend their title.
As many as eight games of the fourth edition will be held in Pakistan including the final with the UAE leg of the tournament coming to an end on March 5.
The six teams will first battle it out in a double-round robin league stage where each franchise will play the others twice. The top-four teams will then move into the playoffs to be held in Pakistan.
The top-two teams from the league stage will meet in the Qualifier with the winner advancing straight through to the final to be held in Karachi. Meanwhile, the third and fourth ranked teams will clash in the first Eliminator.
The winner of the first Eliminator will progress to the second Eliminator to take on the loser of the Qualifier. The second Eliminator will determine which team advances to the final to take on the winners of the Qualifier.
The final of the tournament will be held at the National Stadium in Karachi on March 17.
Skipper – Mohammad Sami
Best finish – Champions (2016, 2018)
Coach – Dean Jones
Luke Ronchi, Sahibzada Farhan, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Faheem Ashraf, Zafar Gohar, Waqas Maqsood, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Sami (C), Ian Bell, Philip Salt, Cameron Delport, Samit Patel, Muhammad Musa, Wayne Parnell, Zahir Khan, Amad Butt, Rizwan Hussain, Nasir Nawaz.
Skipper – Imad Wasim
Best finish – Third (2017)
Coach – Mickey Arthur
Imad Wasim (C), Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Ravi Bopara, Usman Khan, Mohammad Amir, Colin Ingram, Colin Munro, Sikandar Raza, Awais Zia, Usama Mir, Aaron Summers, Sohail Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ali Imran, Abrar Ahmed, Aamir Yamin, Jaahid Ali, Ben Dunk, Liam Livingstone.
Skipper – Mohammad Hafeez
Best finish – Bottom (2016, 2017 and 2018)
Coach – Aqib Javed
Mohammad Hafeez (C), Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, AB de Villiers, Yasir Shah, Sohail Akhtar, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Rahat Ali, Agha Salman, Hassan Khan, Anton Devcich, Carlos Brathwaite, Corey Anderson, Sandeep Lamichhane, Mohammad Imran, Umair Masood, Brendan Taylor, Gohar Ali, Aizaz Cheema, Haris Rauf, David Wiese, Hardus Viljoen.
Skipper – Shoaib Malik
Best finish – 2018 (Fifth)
Coach – Johan Botha
Shoaib Malik (C), Shan Masood, Umar Siddiq, Mohammad Junaid, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Irfan Khan, Shahid Afridi, Joe Denly, Johnson Charles, Qais Ahmed, Shakeel Ansar, Laurie Evans, Numan Ali, Dan Christian, Tome Moores, Ali Shafiq, Muhammad Ilyas, Andre Russell.
Skipper – Darren Sammy
Best finish – Champions (2017)
Coach – Mohammad Akram
Darren Sammy (C), Kamran Akmal, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Sameen Gul, Khalid Usman, Umaid Asif, Liam Dawson, Misbah-ul-Haq, Kieron Pollard, Dawid Malan, Umar Amin, Sohaib Maqsood, Wayne Madsen, Nabi Gul, Jamal Anwar, Chris Jordan, Ibtisam Sheikh, Samiullah, Waqar Salamkheil.
Skipper – Sarfraz Ahmed
Best finish – Runners-up (2016 and 2017)
Coach – Moin Khan
Sarfraz Ahmed (C), Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad, Shane Watson, Rilee Rossouw, Mohammad Nawaz, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Azam Khan, Saud Shakeel, Sunil Narine, Sohail Tanvir, Dwayne Bravo, Fawad Ahmed, Jalat Khan, Mohammad Asghar, Danish Aziz, Ahsan Ali, Ghulam Mudassar, Naseem Shah, Harry Gurney, Sunil Narine.
Viewers in the UAE will be able to watch the live telecast of the fourth edition of the PSL on YuppTV. Live streams of the matches will be available at www.cricketgateway.ae
February 14, Thursday
Islamabad United v Lahore Qalandars – 21:45 GST, Dubai
February 15, Friday
Karachi Kings v Multan Sultans – 15:30 GST, Dubai
Peshawar Zalmi v Quetta Gladiators – 20:00 GST, Dubai
February 16, Saturday
Islamabad United v Multan Sultans – 15:30 GST, Dubai
Lahore Qalandars v Karachi Kings – 20:00 GST, Dubai
February 17, Sunday
Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators – 15:30 GST, Dubai
Peshawar Zalmi v Lahore Qalandars – 20:00 GST, Dubai
February 20, Wednesday
Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators – 20:00 GST, Sharjah
February 21, Thursday
Peshawar Zalmi v Karachi Kings – 20:00 GST, Sharjah
February 22, Friday
Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans – 15:30 GST, Sharjah
Islamabad United v Peshawar Zalmi – 20:00 GST, Sharjah
February 23, Saturday
Quetta Gladiators v Lahore Qalandars – 15:30 GST, Sharjah
Islamabad United v Karachi Kings – 20:00 GST, Sharjah
February 24, Sunday
Multan Sultans v Peshawar Zalmi – 15:30 GST, Sharjah
Quetta Gladiators v Karachi Kings – 20:00 GST, Sharjah
February 26, Tuesday
Islamabad United v Multan Sultans – 20:00 GST, Dubai
February 27, Wednesday
Lahore Qalandars v Quetta Gladiators – 15:30 GST, Dubai
Karachi Kings v Islamabad United – 20:00 GST, Dubai
February 28, Thursday
Multan Sultans v Peshawar Zalmi – 15:30 GST, Dubai
Karachi Kings v Lahore Qalandars – 20:00 GST, Dubai
March 1, Friday
Peshawar Zalmi v Islamabad United – 15:30 GST, Dubai
Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators – 20:00 GST, Dubai
March 4, Monday
Quetta Gladiators v Peshawar Zalmi – 15:30 GST, Abu Dhabi
Karachi Kings v Multan Sultans – 20:00 GST, Abu Dhabi
March 5, Tuesday
Lahore Qalandars v Peshawar Zalmi – 15:30 GST, Abu Dhabi
Quetta Gladiators v Islamabad United – 20:00 GST, Abu Dhabi
March 7, Thursday
Karachi Kings v Peshawar Zalmi – 18:00 GST, Karachi
March 9, Saturday
Lahore Qalandars v Islamabad United – 18:00 GST, Lahore
March 10, Sunday
Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators – 13:00 GST, Karachi
Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans – 18:00 GST, Lahore
March 12, Tuesday
Eliminator 1 – Lahore
March 13, Wednesday
Qualifier – 18:00 GST, Karachi
March 15, Friday
Eliminator 2 – 18:00 GST, Karachi
March 17, Sunday
Final – Karachi
It kept getting worse for the visitors following his dismissal with England ultimately folding for just 277 runs in their first innings.
The Windies fared no better with the bat in their response with a four-wicket burst from Mark Wood reducing them to 79-6.
Buttler and Ben Stokes had put on a unbeaten stand of 124 runs for the fourth wicket on day one to help England overcome a dismal start with the bat in the first innings.
Stokes was given a lucky reprieve when he was dismissed by Alzarri Joseph but was belatedly called back to the crease by the umpire after replays showed a front-foot no-ball by the Windies pacer.
The all-rounder was unbeaten on 62 while Buttler was batting on 67 as the tourists posted 231-4 before stumps were drawn on day one.
The Windies are chasing a 3-0 whitewash of the tourists after two emphatic victories at Barbados and Antigua. Will the hosts succeed in their endeavours? Follow the ball-by-ball action from day two at St. Lucia below to keep track.