PSL 6: Winless Quetta’ fight for survival face Islamabad hurdle

Abhishek Singh

| Feb 28, 2021 11:02 AM

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Sarfaraz Ahmed might have shown all his emotions on the field. He might have played brilliantly with the bat. But all this has still not been able to get his team to win as bowlers have faltered continuously to let down the skipper. Another thing that has not gone in favour of Sarfaraz is that he hasn’t been able to win even a single toss in the tournament so far. Now that his team face Islamabad United, who faced their first defeat in the PSL in their last game against Peshawar Zalmi, all these things need to fall in place for the Gladiators. 

While this is going to be their first clash in the PSL this year, over the years,  Quetta have dominated the side from the capital. In their last six meetings, the men in purple have defeated the Sherus from Islamabad five times including in their last meeting in PSL 2020. However this year Quetta haven’t looked in their own, giving an opportunity for Islamabad to fight back and improve their records. 

Quetta in search of sense to put in their bowlers' head

Apart from the team batting second winning the game, the other thing that has been consistent in PSL 6 is Quetta bowlers their head in the death overs. The suggestion of changing the bowlers wouldn’t do much good either as almost all the bowlers have had the same fate in the death. Only a calm talk with them by the management alongside the skipper Sarafarz can do some magic. 

Some calmness needs to be put through Sarafaraz’ head as well. He seems to lose his calm very early in the game and goes all animated disturbing the bowler’s frame of mind. He too needs to calm down and like a good captain, get a plan made in the dressing room and try to execute it on the field instead of haplessly shouting at the troops.  Few changes would most likely be seen in the Quetta fold with Usman Shinwari making way for Naseem Shah and Tom Banton making a comeback. 

Islamabad searching form for skipper Shadab Khan

The skipper of United, Shadab Khan really hasn’t found form in this edition, either with the bat or with the ball. Primarily a bowling all-rounder, Shadan has been batting up the order in this season, albeit without much success as he has only scored 11 runs in the last three innings. Bowling wise too he has had only had one wicket in three games so far. 

Once he is in form, most of the problems that Islamabad has been facing in batting, prominent being nobody being able to bat responsibly after Alex Hales’ departure would most likely be solved. The introduction of Fawad Ahmed and Paul Stirling didn’t work out in the last game and if Gregory regains fitness before this game, he would most likely be back in place of Fawad to add more balance to the batting unit. 

Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators: Match Details

Match Number- 12

Date and Time: 01 March 2021, 07:30 pm IST, 07:00 pm PST, 02:00 pm GMT

Venue: National Stadium Karachi

Broadcast and Live Stream: Sony SIX, Sony LIV

Pitch Report

The pitch for this game would be the same as used in the Karachi vs Lahore game and thus it might be a bit on the slower side, at least for the first few overs of the first innings. Later on, with dew settling in, the ball would start coming on to the bat nicely and it would soon turn into a graveyard fo the bowlers as the NSK has always been.  

Weather and Toss

Karachi leg of the PSL has been fortunate enough to have ideal weather for playing cricket. The temperatures, even during day games, have generally been in the low thirties and high twenties. There is dew no doubt, but apart from that, with no rain and no heatwave, it has helped viewers enjoying to their fullest. The weather is likely to remain the same in this game as well. 

As far as Toss is concerned, the skipper winning the toss would do the same that he has been doing for the past 11 games, bowl first. 

Probable XI

Islamabad United

Philip Salt (wk), Alex Hales, Paul Stirling, Shadab Khan (c), Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Fawad Ahmed/ Lewis Gregory, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr

Quetta Gladiators

Faf du Plessis, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Tom Banton, Azam Khan, Saim Ayub, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Nawaz, Zahid Mahmood, Dale Steyn, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah

Dream XI / Fantasy XI

Sarfaraz Ahmed (vc & wk), Asif Ali, Alex Hales (c) Faf du Plessis, Mohammad Nawaz, Ben Cutting, Faheem Ashraf, Lewis Gregory, Zahid Mahmood, Dale Steyn, Hasan Ali

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