The Pakistan Super League has now moved to Sharjah, where two teams at the bottom of the table -- Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars -- will battle it out on Wednesday.
It was surprising to see Islamabad struggling in the early part of the PSL, losing their first two games. But, they finally found their first win of the tournament, when they beat the Karachi Kings by two runs in a thrilling encounter in their third match of the PSL. With established cricketers such as Shane Watson, Andre Russell and Misbah-Ul-Haq, Islamabad were expected to be one of the best teams in the competition.
Islamabad should now concentrate on taking their winning momentum forward against Lahore. To do that, Islamabad United need Watson to fire on the batting front. The Australia batsman has been below par so far, scoring just 56 runs in his three matches.
If Watson, who opens the innings for Islamabad, sets the tone at the top, they have the firepower in the middle order to finish off the innings. Players such as Sam Billings and Andre Russell are extremely handy in the final overs of an innings. If their batsmen deliver as a unit on Wednesday, Islamabad United have some quality bowlers, including Mohammad Sami and Saeed Ajmal, to be able to back up their batsmen.
Lahore, like Islamabad, registered their first win in their last fixture against Quetta Galdiators, who are at the top of the table with six points. Lahore should be pumped up after becoming the first team in the PSL to defeat the table toppers.
Lahore may not have an array of stars -- barring Chris Gayle, who was rested in their last match -- like that of Islamabad, but they have some good cricketers, who can help the team emerge victorious. With Gayle's poor run of form, it is imperative for the team to come up with an all-round performance and register back-to-back victories. It also remains to be seen if Lahore want to disrupt their winning combination and bring in Gayle, who has only scored six runs so far.
The Lahore batsmen finally clicked in the PSL in the last match, scoring 194 runs from 20 overs, thanks to a big contribution from their South African import Cameroon Delport, who scored a 55-ball 73. Umar Akmal also entertained the fans with an awesome display of big hitting, scoring a 40-ball 93.
The bowlers backed their batsmen beautifully with Zafar Gohar and Ajantha Mendis picking up four and three wickets respectively. With their bowlers in good form, an interesting battle is on the cards, especially with Islamabad's Watson due a big score.
Teams: Islamabad United: Shane Watson, Mohammad Irfan, Brad Haddin, Sharjeel Khan, Imran Khalid, Kamran Ghulam, Umar Amin, Sam Billings Mohammad Sami, Khalid Latif, Babar Azam, Andre Russell, Misbah-ul-Haq, Samuel Badree, , Rumman Raees, Amad Butt, Saeed Ajmal, Hussain Talat Ashar Zaidi, Umar Siddiq
Lahore Qalandar: Chris Gayle, Yasir Shah, Sohaib Maqsood, Mustafizur Rahman, Kevon Cooper, Cameron Delport, Zafar Gohar, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Rizwan Zia ul Haq, Naved Yasin, Adnan Rasool Hammad Azam, , Dwayne Bravo, Umar Akmal, Zohaib Khan, Ehsan Adil, Abdul Razzaq, Mukhtar Ahmed, Imran Butt.
Where to watch live
Pakistan Super League Game Match 9 -- Islamabad United vs Lahore Qalandars -- is scheduled for 8pm local time (9:30 pm IST, 9 pm PKT, 4pm GMT) start. Unfortunately there is no live TV coverage in India.
Viewers in Pakistan can watch the -- Islamabad United vs Lahore Qalandars live on PTV Sports, Ten Sports and Geo Super with the live streaming online option on PTV Sports Live.
OSN will broadcast the Islamabad United vs Lahore Qalandars live in UAE,with the match can be live streamed on OSN Play.
UK viewers can watch the Islamabad United vs Lahore Qalandars live on Prime TV with live streaming on Prime TV Online.
Viewers from around the world can also live stream the match on Cricketgateway.