PSL 2019: Quetta Gladiators face Peshawar Zalmi test in battle for supremacy

Waseem Ahmed 20:03 03/03/2019
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Quetta up against Peshawar. Image - @thePSLt20/Twitter.

The top two teams in the 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL) will lock horns when Quetta Gladiators take on Peshawar Zalmi in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Both teams are level on 10 points after registering five wins each in their seven matches so far although it is Peshawar who are ahead on net run-rate.

Darren Sammy’s Peshawar come into the clash on the back of a last-gasp four-wicket win over defending champions Islamabad United with England all-rounder Liam Dawson playing a starring role.

Zalmi’s main strength throughout their campaign has been their pace battery with Hasan Ali leading wicket-taking charts with 18 scalps to his name. The Pakistan pacer has been ably supported by the experienced Wahab Riaz who has chipped in with 10 wickets.

In the batting department, opener Imam-ul-Haq has shown promise with two half-centuries at the top of the order. Meanwhile, the big-hitters down the order including Dawson, Kieron Pollard and Sammy have all stood up during crucial stages of the campaign.

Quetta, on the other hand, come into the clash on the back of a morale-boosting win. Sarfraz Ahmed and his men made the perfect start to their PSL campaign with four wins on the trot but two consecutive losses had threatened to derail their charge before they got back on track with victory over Multan Sultans.

It was Dwayne Bravo that made the difference for Quetta against Multan with the West Indies all-rounder making a statement in his very first appearance for the franchise this season. Bravo was excellent with the ball and accounted for three important wickets to pave the way for a comfortable Gladiators win.

Bravo’s return has bolstered an already formidable bowling unit where pacer Sohail Tanvir and spinner Mohammad Nawaz have been key.

Batting second has been the key to Quetta’s strong campaign so far with the side securing all four wins while chasing. Their only two losses have come where they have been made to bat first.

When the two teams met in the reverse fixture at Dubai last month, it was Quetta who prevailed over Peshawar by six wickets in a tight contest.

LIKELY XIs

Quetta Gladiators: Shane Watson, Ahsan Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Rilee Rossouw, Umar Akmal, Dwayne Bravo, Sarfraz Ahmed (c and wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Hasnain, Fawad Ahmed

Peshawar Zalmi: Kamran Akmal (wk), Andre Fletcher, Imam-ul-Haq, Umar Amir, Liam Dawson, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy (c), Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Umaid Asif, Ibtisam Sheikh

Match starts 15:30 UAE time

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