PSL 2019: Lahore Qalandars, Islamabad United face must-win clash in playoff hunt

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Haris Sohail and Lahore need to put in an improved batting performance.

Lahore Qalandars have picked the worst time to have their first losing streak of the season. Tuesday’s loss to Peshawar Zalmi was their second straight defeat, and it left them still outside the playoff spots with two games left to play. They’ll hope they don’t end up ruing that loss to Peshawar, in which they’d reduced the opposition to 20-5 before Misbah-ul-Haq rescued Zalmi in a chase of 125.

Qalandars are only two points behind fourth-placed Karachi Kings, who have a couple of tough games coming up as they face both of the top two teams, Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi. Still, Qalandars can’t rely on their rivals slipping up – the surest path to the playoffs is by winning both their remaining games, starting with Saturday’s clash against Islamabad United in Karachi.

Islamabad are on a two-game losing streak of their own, a turn of events that has dragged them into a three-way battle with Karachi and Lahore for the playoffs when they could have been in a much more comfortable position. This game against Lahore is a double-edged sword: it’s the last game of the season for them, so a loss would leave them stuck on eight points with their destiny out of their hands. They’d have to hope that both Qalandars and Karachi lose their remaining matches, and then the net run rate would likely take Islamabad through.

Why do things the hard way? Win on Saturday and their playoffs spot is guaranteed.

To do that, they’ll have to bounce back from a heavy loss to Quetta on Thursday in which Islamabad wasted a spell of 4-18 from Faheem Ashraf and Luke Ronchi’s 64 off 43 at the top of the order in a chase of 181. That chase ended with Islamabad on 137-9 as the rest of the batting line-up failed. The likes of Cameron Delport and Asif Ali will have to come to the fore on Saturday to support the bowlers, who were largely solid against Quetta.

For Lahore, captain Fakhar Zaman could do with some runs, having managed scores of 11, 18, 2, and 3 in his last four innings. The batting looks thinner without AB de Villiers, but if Zaman can give Lahore a quick start, the rest of the batting should pick up in confidence.

LIKELY TEAMS

Lahore Qalandars: Fakhar Zaman (c), Anton Devcich, Haris Sohail, Ryan ten Doeschate, Sohail Akhtar, Umair Masood, David Wiese, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sandeep Lamichhane, Haris Rauf, Rahat Ali

Islamabad United: Luke Ronchi (wk), Cameron Delport, Phillip Salt, Asif Ali, Samit Patel, Rizwan Hussain, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Amad Butt, Zafar Gohar, Mohammad Sami (c)

Match starts 18:00 UAE time

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Watch: International players land in Karachi for Pakistan leg of PSL 2019

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Islamabad United's Wayne Parnell with Rumman Raees. Image: Wayne Parnell/Instagram.

The fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League 2019 has moved to its ‘home’ base with the remaining matches to be played at the National Stadium in Karachi.

Earlier, Lahore was also scheduled to host matches but logistical issues meant the games had to be shifted to Karachi.

South Africa star AB de Villiers has pulled out of the PSL due to back injury. However, Quetta Gladiators star batsman Shane Watson has committed himself to the Pakistan leg of the tournament.

Quetta top the table after the UAE leg followed by Peshawar Zalmi.

Lahore Qalandars take on Islamabad United in Karachi on Saturday and international players have started arriving to the country for the remaining fixtures.

They were given a warm welcome as they landed in Pakistan.

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PSL 2019: Shane Watson, Sandeep Lamichhane among foreigners confirmed for Pakistan leg

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Watson is coming to Karachi. Image - @thePSLt20/Twitter.

The excitements level in the 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL) is set to go up a notch as the tournament now moves to Pakistan soil for the grand finale.

As many as eight matches, including the play-offs and final, are due to be held in Pakistan with the National Stadium in Karachi playing host to them.

Naturally, all eyes are on which of the overseas stars of the six franchises involved will make the journey to Pakistan from UAE.

Here, we take a look at which overseas players have confirmed their participation for the Pakistan leg of the PSL.

LAHORE QALANDARS

The Qalandars have been given a big setback with their South African ace AB de Villiers ruled out of the Pakistan leg due to an injury.

Windies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite is away on international duty, while New Zealand’s Corey Anderson has ruled himself out of the Pakistan leg. Zimbabwe wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor has been ruled out of the PSL with injury, as well.

Netherlands veteran Ryan Ten Doeschate will be available for the Pakistan leg, while a sixth overseas player is yet to be announced.

Confirmed overseas players: Sandeep Lamichhane, Anton Devcich, Hardus Viljoen, David Wiese and Ryan Ten Doeschate.

ISLAMABAD UNITED

The defending champions have already lost the services of veteran English batsman Ian Bell due to an injury. They roped in Chadwick Walton of the West Indies as a replacement and shall have the remainder of their overseas contingent available for the Pakistan leg.

Confirmed overseas players: Luke Ronchi, Philip Salt, Cameron Delport, Samit Patel, Chadwick Walton and Wayne Parnell.

KARACHI KINGS

Karachi Kings have a strong foreign contingent available for the Pakistan leg with Ravi Bopara, Liam Livingstone, Sikandar Raza, Colin Ingram and Colin Munro confirming their participation.

Ben Dunk and Aaron Summers too have confirmed their willingness to travel.

Confirmed overseas players: Colin Munro, Ravi Bopara, Sikandar Raza, Colin Ingram, Aaron Summers, Ben Dunk and Liam Livingstone.

MULTAN SULTANS

The newest franchise has already been knocked out of contention for the play-offs and they have lost the services of Andre Russell, who is currently away on West Indies international duty. The rest of their overseas contingent, however, should be available for the Pakistan leg.

Confirmed overseas players: Johnson Charles, Laurie Evans, Tom Moores, Dan Christian, Chris Green and James Vince.

QUETTA GLADIATORS

The current 2019 PSL leaders have received a major boost with their star opener Shane Watson confirming his availability for the Pakistan leg.

West Indies spinner Sunil Narine remains out due to an injury and while the England duo of Max Waller and Harry Gurney have been confirmed to travel.

Confirmed overseas players: Shane Watson, Rilee Rossouw, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Fawad Ahmed, Harry Gurney and Max Waller and Sunil Narine (if fit).

PESHAWAR ZALMI

As was the case in the last edition, Peshawar Zalmi will have their entire overseas contingent available for the clashes in Pakistan. This includes their talismanic skipper Darren Sammy who has already become a huge fan favourite in Pakistan.

England duo of Chris Jordan and Dawid Malan are away on international duty but they have been replaced by Tymal Mills and Lendl Simmons.

Confirmed overseas players: Darren Sammy, Liam Dawson, Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons, Wayne Madsen, Andre Fletcher and Tymal Mills.

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