It’s surprising how soon Islamabad United will be playing Quetta Gladiators again in this tournament. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) kicked off with a match between the two former champions, and they will move to Rawalpindi to play the first match of the tournament on the ground just seven days later.
Islamabad scored a decent 168 in their first match before being all out. While they had the Gladiators on the ropes, it was an unexpected knock from Azam Khan that helped Quetta win the match and draw first blood in the competition.
Islamabad has since defeated Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars and will be looking to carry on the winning streak from here on. The team will back their captain Shadab Khan to give another good performance just like he did against the Qalandars and lead the side to victory.
They will need to bolster their bowling a bit which has some interesting local talent that need to step up and prove their mettle. Islamabad won’t want to tinker too much with the side that helped them win the previous game but could bring in Rumman Raees for the struggling Amad Butt.
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Quetta Gladiators stole the show in their first encounter with United as Azam Khan played an unexpected knock to guide his team to victory. He has since been in tremendous form, and the Gladiators will look to him once again in this match-up.
Shane Watson and Jason Roy have both gotten starts in the previous matches, but they will look to turn their starts into big scores in this match with a shorter boundary. Ahmed Shehzad will also need to perform or face the axe as the dugout is filled with manydeserving batsmen waiting for their chance.
Naseem Shah had a good last match and the team will look to him to take some wickets at the top in this match as he needs to get on the board. Muhammad Hasnain’s magical performances have helped the Gladiators score two big victories, and he will be looking to continue his wicket-taking form.
Even though United have been dominating the PSL since inception, it’s interesting to note that the Gladiators have scored three consecutive victories over them since last year. The Men in Red will be looking to break the jinx and get the better of Quetta in this one.
Tournament: Pakistan Super League Season 5, 2020
Venue: Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
Date: 27th February 2020
Time: 7.00 PM PST onwards
Rawalpindi hosted a Test match between Bangladesh and Pakistan earlier this month, bringing life back into the stadium. However, the ground has never hosted a T20 international.
The pitch in Rawalpindi has been as good for the fast bowlers as it has been for the batsmen, and we can expect a good battle between bat and ball during the match.
The team batting first can be expected to put up a score of 170+ that can prove to be difficult to chase late in the night. The ground will pose as Islamabad's home turf.
Islamabad United: Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi (Wicketkeeper), Dawid Malan, Hussain Talat, Colin Ingram, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan (Captain), Rumman Raees, Muhammad Musa, and Ahmed Safi Abdullah.
Quetta Gladiators: Jason Roy, Shane Watson, Ahmed Shehzad, Sarfaraz Ahmed (Captain & Wicketkeeper), Azam Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Anwar Ali, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, and Tymal Mills.
Where to watch the matches in Pakistan?
Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators will be telecast LIVE on PTV Sports.
Live stream details
The live stream for Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators will be available on Cricingiff and Cricketgateway.Published 26 Feb 2020, 20:56 IST