It will be a battle of the table toppers in PSL 2019 when defending champions Islamabad United take on a dangerous looking Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai on Friday.
Peshawar enter the match on the back of a commanding chase against Multan Sultans which was anchored by big-hitting all-rounder Kieron Pollard who blasted an unbeaten 52 from 27 balls with five sixes to help chase down the 173-run target with ease.
Pollard was miserly with the ball as well against Multan, giving away just 15 in three overs in a high scoring game. His form, and the continued solidity provided by opener Imam-ul-Haq at the top, will be driving force behind Zalmi’s charge.
Peshawar’s bowling took a bit of a hit against Multan with the tournament’s top pacer Hasan Ali carted around for 42 from his four overs. Left-arm quick Wahab Riaz went for 38 in his four overs, which made it a rare off day for both together.
Peshawar bowlers will have to be at their best against Islamabad United who have found their rhythm with three wins from four games. In their previous match against Karachi Kings, it was lower order batsman Asif Ali who almost single-handedly won Islamabad the match as they chased down 169. Ali hit 70 off just 38 balls with six maximums.
It promises to be a face-off between the power hitting skills of Pollard and Ali on Friday, which will be last round of fixtures in Dubai before PSL moves to Abu Dhabi and from there to Pakistan.
Kamran Akmal should lose his position in the Peshawar side. The wicketkeeper batsman has five single digit scores including three ducks. Andre Fletcher can keep wickets and Peshawar can bring in an extra batsman or a bowler. For Islamabad United, Mohammad Sami has a foot injury.
Islamabad United: Cameron Delport, Phil Salt, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan (c), Faheem Ashraf, Amad Butt, Samit Patel, Rumman Raees, Muhammad Musa
Peshawar Zalmi: Imam-ul-Haq, Andre Fletcher, Kamran Akmal/Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Amin, Kieron Pollard, Liam Dawson, Darren Sammy (c), Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Umaid Asif, Ibtisam Sheikh
Match starts 15:30 UAE time
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