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Islamabad United held its nerve to put in an exceptional performance just when it mattered and got home with three balls to spare against the Karachi Kings. This means that the defending Champions have another chance of making the PSL 2019 Final if they win Qualifier 2 PSL 2019 against Peshawar Zalmi.
It is not going to be an easy task against Peshawar Zalmi, though. The side put in an excellent performance against the Quetta Gladiators but fell ten runs short of the total. The boys from Peshawar will be looking for another shot at getting past the Quetta Gladiators for sure.
Qualifier 2 of the Pakistan Super League 2019 promises to be an exciting one against two teams that are used to performing at their best in the business end of the PSL.
A top-order collapse was the chief reason why Peshawar Zalmi ended up being short of their target in Qualifier 1 PSL 2019 and they would want to hope that it does not happen again. Finishing in the top-2 gave them this opportunity of a second chance at qualifying for the PSL 2019 Final and it is up to the players to make the most out of them.
We also think that Peshawar Zalmi fell into some traps that they would want to avoid for this match.
They dropped Kieron Pollard down the order when he has been their best batsman in the middle overs in PSL 2019. He and Darren Sammy put in an exception rearguard performance to almost pull off something special for Peshawar but the task that they left the pair was too much.
Now, against an experienced Islamabad side, Peshawar Zalmi will hope to puts is best batsmen up the order. Kamran Akmal is a big threat in Pakistan and he is going to be the batsman to watch out for.
If he and Imam-il-Haq are able to give the Peshawar side a good start then we think they should be able to reach a good total thanks to the hitting power available in the middle.
The bowling attack for Peshawar Zalmi is very good. Hasan Ali, Tymal Mills, Wahab Riaz, and Liam Dawson had a poor match in Qualifier one but we expect to see them come back much stronger in this match.
Luke Ronchi, C Delport, AD Hales, CAK Walton, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Sami, Muhammad Musa, Rumman Raees.
Counting out Islamabad United is a dangerous thing to do at any time but certainly in the dying stages of the Pakistan Super League. The addition of Alex Hales has made a strong batting side even stronger.
Luke Ronchi, Alex Hales, Cameron Delport and the young aggressive Pakistani batsmen in the middle makes Islamabad United an excellent batting team. The manner in which Hussain Talat, Faheem Ashraf, and Asif Ali held their nerve at the end of the inning in the Eliminator should serve as a warning to their opponents in the upcoming two matches.
We expect to see a big performance from Ronchi and Hales in this last match as well. Ronchi is due for a big score and he has a good track record of performing well in PSL during the previous editions while Alex Hales is one of the best batting talents in T20 cricket anywhere in the world right now.
The strong batting order comprising of a number of Pakistani all-rounders is also going to be more effective than it was in Dubai. These are home conditions which these players know and performing in front of a sell-out Pakistani crowd is a huge incentive for them as well.
The bowling attack for Islamabad United is also very strong. Faheem Ashraf is the player that we are keeping a close eye on for this match but Shadab Khan, Mohammad Sami, Muhammad Musa, and Rumman Raees are all very skillful bowlers as well. Mohammad Sami has a wealth of experience at his side that no other bowler in Pakistan cricket can boast of right now.
Islamabad United started the tournament slow and is picking up steam at just the right time. They have an excellent chance of repeating history and bulldozing past everyone else in the knockout stages of the PSL.
Kamran Akmal, Imam-ul-Haq, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Amin, Chris Jordan, Kieron Pollard, DJG Sammy, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, TS Mills, Nabi Gul.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to bat first
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Qualifier 2 PSL 2019 is going to be played between Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United at the National Stadium, Karachi. The two sides are going to be playing in conditions that are excellent for cricket weather wise.
The pitch at the National Stadium has been excellent for T20 cricket so far. Batting sides have been able to play exciting cricket but the bowlers have not been completely out of it either. The same sort of playing conditions are expected in this match.
We think that Islamabad United is going to be very hard to stop and they should be able to get past Peshawar Zalmi in a tightly fought encounter. We recommend hedging the bets with some in-play betting as this an encounter between two evenly matched sides that could go down to the wire.
Back Islamabad United to win.
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