KARACHI: The Quetta Gladiators – placed at the bottom in the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League – will make another attempt, and probably a final one, to stay afloat the PSL when the Sarfaraz-led side will take on the Wahab-led Peshawar Zalmi in match 19 of PSL 2021 today (Saturday).
Both teams are coming to this match with defeats in their previous games at Abu Dhabi, but the pressure will be on Quetta Gladiators as the former champions are on the verge of another early elimination from the race.
They were beaten, rather outclassed, by Islamabad United a night before.
The Gladiators were unlucky in the match and despite having some good names, are now at the bottom of the table. They have lost five out of six matches so far and their confidence is down, which the Zalmis can take advantage of.
Although the batting line up of Quetta Gladiators looked strong on paper, it disappointed in the game against Islamabad as Andre Russell, Faf du Plessis and Sarfaraz Ahmed were dismissed on scores of 13, 5 and 2 respectively. Their bowling didn’t cover any good either.
Peshawar Zalmi, on the other hand, fell short of chasing 170 in the match against Lahore Qalandars. They’re at the middle position on the points table, with six points after six matches, in which three were wins and three losses.
The form of Shoaib Malik will be a good confidence booster for Wahab Riaz. Malik scored a brilliant 73 off 48. Having Kamran Akmal and David Miller in side, the Zalmi camp won’t be too worried about batting.
Their bowling also doesn’t look too bad and has a wicket taking ability.
The Zalmis will also have an advantage of being on the winning side when both sides had met in the first leg in Karachi earlier.
Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, Sherfane Rutherford and Imam ul Haq had played brilliant knocks to help Zalmi chase a target of 199 for the loss of seven wickets, with three balls remaining. The fact that all performers of that victory are available to Zalmi even today will make the memory of the last encounter more joyous for Zalmi.
Quetta Gladiators will be banking on Sarfaraz to bat the way he did on that day in Karachi.
Read more: Islamabad United creates PSL history
Historically, both sides are evenly poised against each other with 8-all of 17 games played between the two so far.
Players to watch
Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz (Peshawar Zalmi), Azam Khan and Faf du Plessis (Quetta Gladiators)
Peshawar Zalmi: Wahab Riaz (c), Abrar Ahmed, Amad Butt, Bismillah Khan, David Miller (partially available), Fabian Allen (partially available), Fidel Edwards (partially available), Haider Ali, Hazratullah Zazai, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Amir Khan, Mohammad Irfan Snr, Mohammad Imran Jnr, Mohammad Imran Randhawa, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford, Shoaib Malik, Umaid Asif and Waqar Salamkheil
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