Islamabad United would have been pleased with skipper Shane Watson finally striking form in the PSL, after the Australia scored a 47-ball 79 against Lahore Qalandars to help his team win their second match of the PSL. Islamabad will once again look forward to a similar performance from Watson when they face Quetta Gladiators at the Sharjah International Stadium on Thursday.
Islamabad will be plotting revenge against Quetta, who defeated them in the first match of the PSL in Dubai. Islamabad, who have been touted as one of the favourites for the competition owing to a good mix of foreign and international stars, are gradually getting to terms with the competition, after losing their first two games of the PSL. Islamabad have looked a different unit in their last two games, playing some good cricket, to register victories.
With two back-to-back wins, Islamabad will be eager to carry their winning momentum forward against Quetta as well. Not only has Watson come back to form, his fellow opener, Sharjeel Khan also scored a 43-ball 79, which is positive for Islamabad United.
However, their middle order comprising of Andre Russell, Sam Billings and Misbah-Ul-Haq are yet to find form with the willow. Islamabad even tried to promote Russell up the order in their last match against Lahore, but the West Indian failed.
Hence, Islamabad openers -- Watson and Sharjeel -- will hold the key against Quetta, whose bowlers such as Mohammad Nawaz and Anwar Ali have been in good form in the PSL. Nawaz and Ali have been their best bowlers, picking up eight â€“ highest in the competition so far â€“ and five wickets respectively.
With such bowling records against their name in the PSL, they will be eager to get their hands on the white cherry and deliver against Islamabad. Besides the two bowlers, Quetta also have Umar Gul, who is a great exponent in the death overs, in their armoury.
It is the all-round performance of the Quetta players, which has helped the team emerge victorious in three of their last four matches. They are currently on top of the PSL standings and another victory against Islamabad will only strengthen their position at the top.
Quetta have been blessed with some dangerous batsmen such as Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen, with the former in brilliant form, scoring 153 runs in the PSL. Wright's opening partner, Ahmed Shehzad, who along with Gul was dropped from the Pakistan squad for the World T20, has also been decent, scoring 113 runs in the competition. Islamabad's opening bowler Mohammad Irfan will be key to dismissing the Quetta openers, otherwise Quetta could run away with this game.
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.
Quetta Gladiators:Kevin Pietersen, Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Luke Wright, Elton Chigumbura, Sarfraz Ahmed Zulfiqar Babar, Umar Gul, , Bilal Asif, Asad Shafiq, , Mohammad Nawaz, Saad Nasim, Mohammad Nabi, Akbar-ur-Rehman, Bismillah Khan, Kumar Sangakkara, Rameez Raja jnr. Aizaz Cheema
Where to watch live
Game 11 of the Pakistan Super League â€“ Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators -- is scheduled for 8pm local time (9:30 p.m. IST, 9 p.m. PKT, 4 p.m. GMT) start. Unfortunately there is no live TV coverage in India.
Viewers in Pakistan can watch the -- Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators 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 Quetta Gladiators live in UAE,with the match can be live streamed on OSN Play.
UK viewers can watch the Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators live on Prime TV with live streaming on Prime TV Online.