PSL 2018, Eliminator 2 Preview: An upbeat Peshawar Zalmi aim for a place in the final
Although Zalmi has a better head to head record, it'll be a fleet risk to pin hopes on one team to go all the way in such a crunchy encounter.
Updated - Mar 21, 2018 5:30 pm
Talk about breathtaking encounters, the Peshawar Zalmi played one such game against the Quetta Gladiators to reach the second eliminator. Darren Sammy and his troops won the game by a narrow margin of one run and almost suffered a heartbreak in their quest to defend the championship. Now, with momentum on their side, they are up against the Karachi Kings.
The Kings finished the group stages on a high, defeating table-toppers Islamabad United and earning a place in the top 2. But when they collided with the same opponents in the Qualifier, they got utterly humiliated thanks to a sensational rendition from Luke Ronchi. They have no other choice but to keep all that behind and move forward if they wish to get the better of the Zalmi.
The last time these both teams met on the penultimate day of the group stages, it was an important game for the Zalmi contingent. But they managed to showcase a spirited performance and annihilated the Kings by 44 runs. Although Zalmi has a better head to head record, it’ll be a fleet risk to pin hopes on one team to go all the way in such a crunchy encounter.
Kamran Akmal has been one of the best batsmen this season and he will open the batting alongside Tamim Iqbal. In the middle order, they have some very powerful strikers like Andre Fletcher, Liam Dawson, Mohammad Hafeez and Darren Sammy, who can change the game on its head in a span of 10-15 balls.
Liam Dawson as their fifth bowler proved to be a gamble in the final game when he almost failed to defend 25 runs in the final over. The likes of Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Umaid Asif, and Sameen Gul bowled exceptionally well in the previous game and dished out a narrow win for their side. The onus will remain on them to bowl well so that the fifth bowler is not under too much pressure.
Probable XI: Kamran Akmal (wk), Darren Sammy (c), Mohammad Hafeez, Tamim Iqbal, Wahab Riaz, Andre Fletcher, Liam Dawson, Umaid Asif, Saad Nasim, Sameen Gul, Hasan Ali
English skipper Eoin Morgan is the only foreign player in the Kings’ lineup who didn’t travel to Pakistan. Ravi Bopara will be roped in as a straight replacement in the middle order, whilst the remaining batting order will remain the same. Khurram Manzoor and Joe Denly will open the innings, with Colin Ingram, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shahid Afridi in the middle order.
Afridi might also be taking up the captaincy duties with the departure of Morgan. He has some exciting fast bowling talents at disposal like Mohammad Rizwan, Usman Khan, and Tymal Mills. Mohammad Amir will be their main man with the ball and Ravi Bopara too can roll him arm if needed in the middle overs.
Probable XI: Ravi Bopara, Khurram Manzoor, Mohammad Amir (c), Joe Denly, Colin Ingram, Tymal Mills, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Usman Khan, Mohammad Irfan Jnr, Mohammad Taha
Head to Head
Matches – 7, Karachi Kings– 2, Peshawar Zalmi – 5
Focus will be on
Kamran Akmal (Peshawar Zalmi)
A dominant presence in the top order, Kamran Akmal is enjoying a brilliant T20 season currently. Beginning from his record-breaking streak of half-centuries in the domestic circuit in Pakistan, he managed to score 347 runs thus far in the tournament, making him the second best run-scorer in the tournament. Zalmi’s hopes will be pinned on this individual to go all the way.
Colin Ingram (Karachi Kings)
Another exciting talent who performed fairly well in the league, South African southpaw Colin Ingram can be a big match player. He was one of the most important players in Adelaide Strikers’ title-winning campaign and even captained the side in a few games. If he gets going in the middle order, the Zalmi bowlers will have a torrid time dealing with him.
11.67 – Usman Khan’s bowling strike-rate of 11.67 is the best in the tournament amongst the bowlers who played 5 or more matches.
The timing of the match: 7:30 pm IST
TV – D Sport