Islamabad United have opted to bat first after winning the toss against the Lahore Qalandars in match number 20 of the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed stadium on Sunday.
The teams had last met on June 9 when the PSL resumed in Abu Dhabi. In that match, Qalandars had defeated United by five wickets. The star-studded side, led by Sohail Akhtar, looks in good form having won both the matches played in the UAE.
After the win in the restart game against Islamabad, Lahore’s next triumph was against Peshawar Zalmi when they successfully defended a score of 170/8 and won by 10 runs. Tim David’s unbeaten 64 from 36 balls and magical bowling by Rashid Khan were the highlights of the game.
Rashid Khan and Tim David, along with James Faulkner and Ben Dunk, look certain in the final line-up as Qalandars are in no mood to slow down after the dream start in PSL6. They have won 5 out of their six games.
However, Islamabad had bounced back strongly after being beaten by Qalandars. Boosted by their record 10-wicket win against Quetta Gladiators, they will be high on confidence.
They had chased down their target of 134 in exactly ten overs with their openers Usman Khawaja scoring 40 not out and Colin Munroe smashing an unbeaten 90 from just 36 balls.
They will be without their star bowler Hassan Ali who last night announced his withdrawal from the league due to family reasons. They’re also without the services of Faheem Ashraf who is recovering from a hand injury. With two main bowlers out of the show, the young duo of Mohammad Wasim Jr and Muhammad Musa is likely to have a big chunk of responsibilities on their shoulder.
Shadab-led Islamabad will also bank on the fact that it has a record of 8-3 against Lahore Qalandars in 11 matches the two sides have played against each other in the PSL, so far.
Players to watch out for:
James Faulkner, Ben Dunk (Lahore Qalandars). Colin Munro, Mohammad Wasim Jnr (Islamabad United)
Lahore Qalandars: Fakhar Zaman, Sohail Akhtar (c), Zeeshan Ashraf, Mohammad Hafeez, Ben Dunk, Tim David, Rashid Khan, James Faulkner, Ahmed Daniyal, Shaheen Shah Afridi
Islamabad United: Colin Munro, Usman Khawaja, Shadab Khan (c), Rohail Nazir, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Musa, Fawad Ahmed, Ali Khan