Shahid Afridi-led Peshawar Zalmi have a final chance to reach the finals of the PSL as they prepare for a thrilling encounter Sunday against Islamabad United in the third qualifier, which acts as a virtual semi-final, at Dubai Cricket Stadium. The winner of the clash will meet Quetta Gladiators, who have already booked one of the final spot.
Peshawar, after losing to Quetta in the first qualifying final in a thrilling encounter, will need to play some solid cricket in the third qualifier against Islamabad, who were brilliant in their last match against Karachi Kings. Islamabad defeated Karachi with an all-round performance from their batsmen and bowlers.
Mohammad Sami played a big hand to help Islamabad inch closer to the finals, picking five wickets in the PSL contest. Islamabad's foreign imports Dwayne Smith and Brad Haddin scored half centuries as well.
These players need to deliver once more against Peshawar, who have one of the best bowling line-ups in the competition. Wahab Riaz, Shaun Tait, Mohammad Asghar and Shahid Afridi are the key bowlers for Peshawar. Riaz and Asghar have been tremendous in the PSL, taking 15 and 11 wickets, respectively, so far in the competition.
If these bowlers get their line and length right in the third qualifier, Islamabad will be in all sorts of trouble. It is at this juncture when Islamabad will miss their best batsman, Shane Watson, who was ruled out of the PSL with an injury a few days ago. In Watson's absence, other batsmen such as Smith, Haddin, Asif Ali and captain Misbah-ul-Haq need to perform. All-rounder Andre Russell, if required to bat, also needs to score some runs for his side.
Among the players in the current Islamabad squad, only Sharjeel Khan and Misbah have some runs to show for their efforts in the PSL. However, they must have received further encouragement with Haddin and Smith scoring quality runs in their last match.
There is nothing much to choose between the two teams. Both have played some quality cricket in the competition so far, and the team that handles the pressure better in the virtual semifinal should meet Quetta in the PSL final.
Teams: Peshawar Zalmi: Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Darren Sammy, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Chris Jordan, Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Khan, James Allenby, Shaun Tait, Aamer Yamin, Dawid Malan, Imran Khan (jnr), Shahid Yousuf, Abdur Rehman, Musadiq Ahmed Ali, HasanAli, Mohammad Asghar, Brad Hodge, Israrullah, Taj Wali.
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
Where to watch live
The Pakistan Super League third qualifier — Peshawar Zalmi vs Islamabad United — 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 — Peshawar Zalmi vs Islamabad United live on PTV Sports, Ten Sports and Geo Super with the live-streaming online option on PTV Sports Live.
OSN will broadcast the Peshawar Zalmi vs Islamabad United live in UAE, the match can be live streamed on OSN Play.
UK viewers can watch the Peshawar Zalmi vs Islamabad United live on Prime TV with live-streaming on Prime TV Online.