The 27th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019 will be played between Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United at the National Cricket Stadium, Karachi.
The last time Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United faced each other, it was in the tournament opener when Islamabad United chased 172 comfortably to win the match by five wickets.
Defending champions Islamabad United face a tricky situation in their all-important match against Lahore Qalandars in Karachi on Saturday as the HBL Pakistan Super League returns to Pakistan after 26 matches in the United Arab Emirates.
Islamabad – winners of the first edition in 2016 and then again in 2018 – are in an uncertain territory with eight points in nine games, and badly need a win to qualify for the play-offs for which Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi have already qualified.
In the case of a loss, the fate of the title-holders will rest on the results of Lahore’s last game against Multan Sultans and the two matches Karachi Kings will play against Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators.
Islamabad captain Mohammad Sami showed confidence his team can pull-off a win and qualify for the last stages.
Islamabad United were in a good position until they lost to Peshawar by four wickets, followed by their 43-run defeat against Quetta Gladiators. Both losses have pegged them back.
But, Islamabad can take heart from the fact that they were in a similar situation in 2016 before they won the last two matches, the Eliminator, then the second Qualifier before lifting the silverware.
Lahore are once again in the danger zone, with just six points from their eight games, and have also lost their key batsman AB de Villiers.
The South African maestro injured his back and had to abandon his plans to tour Pakistan for the last two round matches.
A defeat will eliminate them from the league and a similar fate after they ended fifth and last in the first two editions and sixth and last in 2018 but their captain Fakhar Zaman hoped his team can lift the tempo.
Date: Saturday, March 09, 2019
Timing: 07:00 PM PKT
Weather: Weather is expected to be clear.
Conditions / Pitch Report: The Karachi surface should suit the spin bowlers but there is enough in the balanced pitch for the batsmen and seamers too.
Head to Head:
Matches: 7 | Islamabad United: 5 | Lahore Qalandars: 2 | NR: 0
- Islamabad United 177/5 beat Lahore Qalandars 171/8
- Islamabad United 164/4 beat Lahore Qalandars 163/8
- Islamabad United 121/9 tied with Lahore Qalandars 121/10
Islamabad United: L L W L W (completed matches, most recent first)
Lahore Qalandars: L L W L W
1. Islamabad United
Luke Ronchi has been the top-scorer for Islamabad United with close to 300 runs. Asif Ali is another major batsman for the team in the middle order. All-rounder Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan and Mohammad Sami are their premium bowlers.
Apart from him, Asif Ali and Hussain Talat have made some useful contributions and remain the mainstays of the team’s middle order.
The team also has Faheem Ashraf who has impressed with his all-round performances.
Islamabad United’s Probable XI:
1. Luke Ronchi (wk), 2. Sahibzada Farhan, 3. Shadab Khan, 4. Cameron Delport / Chadwick Walton, 5. Asif Ali, 6. Hussain Talat, 7. Wayne Parnell / Philip Salt, 8. Samit Patel, 9. Faheem Ashraf, 10. Mohammad Musa, 11. Rumman Raees
2. Lahore Qalandars
Lahore Qalandars have made two replacements in their squad for the Pakistan-leg of the HBL Pakistan Super League.
English batsman Riki Wessels and Sri Lanka all-rounder Asela Gunaratne have been included in place of New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson and Ryan ten Doeschate.
English wicket-keeper batsman Riki Wessels has joined Lahore Qalandars squad as the team’s foreign players arrived in Karachi for Pakistan leg of PSL.
In the absence of de Villiers, Fakhar Zaman is the leading batsman for Lahore Qalandars. Zaman has already score two half-centuries.
Among the bowlers Haris Rauf has done well and has 11 wickets. Rahat Ali and Sandeep Lamichhane will also pose threats for the Islamabad United batsmen.
The team also has an all-rounder in shape of David Wiese who is capable of scoring a few quick runs.
Lahore Qalandar’s Probable XI:
1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Sohail Akhtar, 3. Asela Gunaratne, 4. Riki Wessels, 5. Haris Sohail, 6. David Wiese, 7.Umair Masood / Yasir Shah, 8. Sandeep Lamichhane, 9. Rahat Ali, 10. Shaheen Afridi, 11. Haris Rauf
Players to watch:
1. Fakhar Zaman – Batsman, Lahore Qalandars
Fakhar Zaman is always a dangerous player when it comes to the shortest format of the game. One of the most powerful hitters of the ball, Zaman doesn’t need any time to adjust and can switch gears in an instant.
2. Luke Ronchi – Batsman, Islamabad United
What Fakhar Zaman is to Lahore Qalandars, Luke Ronchi is to Islamabad United. Ronchi is a natural when it comes to big knocks and could be a lethal player for the Islamabad United. A player of his quality is always a danger for opposition bowlers as he often tends to take the game away with his maximums.
3. Shadab Khan – Bowler, Islamabad United
Ranked No 3 in the world ratings for T20 bowlers, the leg-spinner was an integral part of Islamabad’s title win last year. He still only 20, but has long been a mainstay both at international and franchise level. He is held in such high regard that he has been elevated to the role of Islamabad vice-captain, as understudy to veteran quick bowler Mohammed Sami.
4. Asela Gunaratne – Batsman, Lahore Qalandars
Asela Gunaratne is the latest addition in Qalandars squad who has replaced Corey Anderson. Lahore Qalandars needed someone to play an innings according to the stipulations. Asela Gunaratne is one of the best hitter of the ball in the world and can dismantle any bowling attack on his day.
5. Sandeep Lamichhane – Bowler, Lahore Qalandars
A bowler who has grown manifolds in a span of one year, Lamichhane is the backbone of Qalandars bowling unit. With consistent spells, Lamichhane is definitely a key player for Qalandars.