The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has entertained viewers with some thrilling contests, and the final between Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United at Dubai International Stadium Tuesday is expected to be a cracker.
Quetta, who have played some superb cricket in the PSL, enjoy a slight edge over Islamabad in their bid to lift the PSL title. En route to the final, Quetta suffered just two losses only. Apart from this, their record against Islamabad has been spot on, winning both the matches in the league stages.
Table toppers Quetta are expected to field their aggressive opener, Luke Wright, who missed their last two matches in the PSL due to injury. Having got decent rest, the Englishman is expected to be fit for the final, and score important runs for Quetta, as he has done throughout the PSL. Wright has scored 169 runs in six PSL innings, with a strike rate of 126.11.
Besides Wright, Ahmed Shehzad and Kevin Pietersen have been their best performers with the willow in the PSL, scoring 226 runs and 197 runs respectively. The trio will play a huge role in the PSL final.
Quetta resemble a strong batting lineup, but they cannot depend on the men with the willow alone. Bowlers such as Mohammad Nawaz, who has been the most impressive bowler in the PSL, taking 13 wickets, will also be crucial.
Though Sarfaraz Ahmed is Quetta's captain, Pietersen will need to bring all his experience into play and provide his support to the skipper in the field, and help the team emerge triumphant in the PSL final.
Quetta's opponent, Islamabad have played some amazing cricket in the playoff stage, defeating Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi to reach the PSL final. Earlier, they were inconsistent, but after winning four matches on the trot, they will go into the PSL full of confidence.
Islamabad, despite the absence of Shane Watson, who was ruled out of the PSL midway due to an abdominal injury, have looked a strong unit. All the players in the team are chipping in with wickets and runs.
They are going to depend on their top order to score the bulk of the runs in the final. With Brad Haddin, Dwayne Smith, Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif their key players, Islamabad can take control of the game if these players deliver with the bat. Khan will be even more confident with the bat after scoring the first ever ton in the PSL, when he struck 117 from 62 balls, in the last match against Peshawar Zalmi.
Islamabad have the much needed firepower in the lower-middle order as well, in the form of Andre Russell, who can use his long handle to good effect. However, captain, Misbah-Ul-Haq, needs to lead from the front and take wise decisions on the field and not allow his players to panic even if the going gets tough in the final.
In the bowling front, Mohammad Sami and Imran Khalid, who have taken eleven and nine wickets respectively in the PSL so far, will look to provide early breakthroughs and dismiss their key players including Wright, Shehzad and Pietersen, which could well be half the battle won.
Teams: Islamabad United: Mohammad Irfan, Brad Haddin, Sharjeel Khan, Imran Khalid, Kamran Ghulam, Umar Amin, Sam Billings, Mohammad Sami, Khalid Latif, Andre Russell, Misbah-ul-Haq, Samuel Badree, 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 PSL final live
The Pakistan Super League (PSL) final – 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 PSL Final 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 final live on Prime TV with live streaming on Prime TV Online.