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Table of Contents
Islamabad vs Peshawar:
Islamabad United did well in the round robin last year. After a tough race in the round robin this year, they can certainly hope to find some form in the playoffs. With three straight defeats to Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators and Multan Sultan, they definitely need to improve sharply after jumping to fourth. They scored only 105 runs against Multan Sultans.
Peshawar Zalmi, by contrast, have wind on their ships. They started slowly, losing two of the first three matches, but since then they have performed well. They have won their last four matches, including a 10-run victory over Islamabad United. Thanks to Muhammad Haris hitting 70 off 32 balls. In their last match of the round-robin, they had the courage to edge the Lahore Qalanders in the Super Over.
Islamabad United welcomes Alex Hales’ unexpected return Mubashir Khan is the best partner in the order, Liam Dawson is third and Assam Khan is fourth. Captain Shadab Khan has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. With this, Danish Aziz will remain at five and captain Asif Ali at six. In terms of fitness, Faheem Ashraf will bat for seven, Mohammad Moosa for eight and Merchant de Lange for nine. Waqas Maqsood and Zaheer Khan will complete the XI.
Peshawar Zalmi has benefited from a more stable lineup. Hazrat Zazai will open the innings with Mohammad Harris. Yasir Khan, along with Shoaib Malik, will retain his place in the top three. Liam Livingston, Ben Cutting and Sherfain Rutherford are excellent lower order and all three have the ability to take the game from opponents. Bowlers Wahab Riaz, Usman Khader and Salman Irshad rounded out Peshawar’s team and Hussain Thalat was the last recognized batsman.
Islamabad United had lined up a team capable of winning the Pakistan Super League, but they do not see many of their best players, which is now likely to become a reality. The loss of Captain Shadab is a major setback. But even if he deserves to play, it will be a tough match for Islamabad. Peshawar Zalmi have found great forms at the best of times and if they are to be able to maintain the quality they have displayed in recent matches, they must have a lot for Islamabad United.