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With just five more matches to go in the league stage of the competition, Pakistan Super League is about to take its final turn. The top three more or less look settled, but the competition for the fourth spot is increasing with every passing match. The same holds true for the top-two positions as well with two teams having ten points each and one team having 12 points.
The upcoming match between Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United can have a big role to play in the final standings at the table. The match will be played at Sheikh Zayed International Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi on 17th June 2021.
slamabad United have so far been the best team in the tournament and their position on the points table is evidence of that. They have played eight matches thus far and have won six of those. With 12 points and a net run-rate of 0.932, Islamabad United are certain of qualification to the next round but would want to ascertain a top-two finish with a win in this upcoming match as well.
It has been a while since United last featured in this competition and this short break of a couple of days will certainly help them. They were clinical in their last outing as they thrashed Karachi Kings by eight wickets with eight balls to spare. Chasing a total of a tall order, of 191, Islamabad United went along their way with remarkable ease. Colin Munro slammed 88 off 56 and Iftikhar Ahmed scored 71 off 39 as the pair added 150 runs unbeaten for the third wicket. The return of Hasan Ali has certainly strengthened their bowling that now looks as strong as ever.
Taking a look at their batting lineup, Islamabad United look all packed. The likes of Usman Khawaja, Colin Munro, and Ifthikar Ahmed are good enough to take on any bowling attack. Apart from that, they have versatile all-rounders available and that adds to the depth of their team. They have done well in the last two matches and, therefore, have the momentum. If they continue to play like they have done so far, beating them is going to be very difficult.
Usman Khawaja, Colin Munro, Brandon King, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Mohammad Akhlaq, Hasan Ali, Zafar Gohar, Akif Javed, Fawad Ahmed.
It wasn't long before Peshawar Zalmi were struggling to stay afloat in the tournament. However, with a couple of sensational wins, they have climbed to the second spot on the ladder and another win here will make their top-two finish certain. Their recent win over Quetta Gladiators have boosted their net run-rate emphatically and that could prove to be a distinguishing factor if things get close.
Against Quetta Gladiators, Multan Sultans were terrific in both departments of the game as they not only slammed a tall total but then dismantled Gladiators for a paltry total. All in all, Peshawar Zalmi are looking in exceedingly good form and have one of the better-looking sides, on paper. Their bowling has done well and is getting well complemented by their batsmen. They would need their bowlers to do well against a potent Islamabad United side and if that happens, beating them will be tough.
Hazratullah Zazai, Kamran Akmal, Imam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford, Abrar Ahmad, Wahab Riaz, Umaid Asif, Sameen Gul, Waqar Salamkheil.
It is an important game for both sides, more so for United. A win here will more or less ascertain their top-two spot. They have strong motivation to come out and do well in this match. Having said that, Islamabad United are an in-form side, and beating them will not be easy. On paper, Islamabad United appear to be a slightly better-balanced side and are, therefore, our pick to win this upcoming match.
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