About the Match
In a shocker of a semi-final, favourites Zalmi were knocked out of the tournament as United defeated them by a massive 50 runs to reach the finals of the PSL, which will be played against Quetta Gladiators on 23rd February at Dubai. Posting 176 runs batting first, United batsmen dominated the opposition and then the bowlers squashed their hopes as they dismissed Zalmi in a hurry to get them all-out for just 126 runs. The Gladiators had reserved their berth in the finals after defeating Zalmi by a close 1 run; both teams will be eager to lift the trophy here on Tuesday.
Sharjeel Khan’s power-packed 117 off just 62 deliveries took Islamabad United all the way to the finals of the inaugural PSL, to be played against Gladiators; Khalid Latif and Smith made some useful contributions with the bat and the bowlers led by Imran Khalid’s superb 4-20 demolished the Zalmi batting line-up. Andre Russell claimed 3-37 while Sami, Badree and Mohammad Irfan took regular wickets to help win the match by a massive 50 runs.
In the eliminator against Karachi Kings, they stayed alive as Mohammad Sami put up a brilliant career best spell taking 5-8 to restrict the opposition to a lowly 111 runs. Russell, Badree and Irfan combined well to support Sami while the batsmen Smith and Haddin posted well-made half-centuries to take the team safely home.
They have a strong batting line-up consisting of players like Smith, Sharjeel Khan, Haddin, Russell and Latif, who can come out all guns blazing here; with the bowling squad in top form, United looks to be determined to seal another win on Tuesday and take the title.
Against Peshawar Zalmi, the bowlers held their nerves together to defend 133 runs in nick of time and win the match by just 1 run; Mohammad Nawaz and Grant Elliott took 3 wickets each to stifle the opposition while Aizaz Cheema and Anwar Ali contributed well with 3 wickets between them. Earlier, the batsmen were not up to mark but Sangakkara and Pietersen built the foundation by setting up a 79-run partnership for the 3rd wicket. It was a close finish that took them to the finals but they now have to be geared up to face the wrath of United bowlers.
They have done well throughout the tournament and made it to this stage because of their talented resources in both batting and bowling; however, Islamabad United has proved to be a formidable force to reckon with and the Gladiators will have to pull put some tricks form their sleeves to outwit them.
With a strong and experienced batting line-up consisting of Pietersen, Sangakkara, Sarfraz Ahmed, Ahmed Shehzad and Elliott, they definitely look good to score the big runs; if bowlers like Nawaz, Babar and Elliott can repeat their brilliance on field, they can succeed here on Tuesday.
The title clash is poised to be a scintillating contest as both teams are equally matched in terms of talent and determination; although United is a tough team to crack, we feel Quetta with its recent win as well as consistent record in PSL have emerged as clear favourites to win the opening season of Pakistan Super League