Islamabad United vs Peshawar Zalmi PSL 2021, Eliminator 2
Islamabad United will lock horns against Peshawar Zalmi in the Eliminator 2 game of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. The winner of this game will setup a final clash with Multan Sultans on Thursday.
Two-time PSL Champions suffered defeat at the hands of Multan Sultans in the Qualifier game of the competition played on Wednesday. United will need to raise their game as they will have second opportunity to secure their place in the PSL finals.
On the other hand, Peshawar Zalmi notched up a comfortable win over Karachi Kings courtesy of splendid performances from Hazratullah Zazai, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Irfan.
Peshawar Zalmi will be looking to produce their best game with bat and ball and seal their place in the finals of PSL for the fourth time. Captain Wahab Riaz will be hoping that the players can stick to the basics and deliver a strong show against Islamabad United.
Batting unit failed to make an impact as Islamabad United suffer defeat at the hands of Multan Sultans in the Qualifier game of PSL played on Monday.
In the batting department, the side will be relying on the likes of Usman Khuwaja, Colin Munro and Iftikhar Ahmed to do the bulk of the scoring.
Australian opener Usman Khuwaja has currently topped the batting charts so far this season with 245 runs in six matches at an average of 61.25. Left-hander was the star of show for Islamabad United in a losing cause.
Pugnacious opener Colin Munro perished for a first-calls duck against Multan Sultans. Islamabad United will be hoping that Munro can find form with the bat and deliver something special against Peshawar Zalmi.
Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Hussain Talat and Asif Ali will need to deliver crucial scores for United in this all-important clash.
In the bowling department, the focus will be on pacer Faheem Ashraf to deliver the goods just like he is doing for the franchise this season with nine wickets. He also had a good game with the ball against Multan Sultans and picked up two wickets in the game.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan has also put in some impressive performances with nine wickets so far in this year’s competition.
Peshawar Zalmi will need to guard against complacency and bring their A-game to the table to secure their place in the finals of the competition. Zalmi will become the only franchise to play four finals in the competition if they beat Islamabad United in this Eliminator 2 game.
The responsibility will be on their in-form players like Hazratullah Zazai, Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal to do the bulk of the scoring.
Opener Hazratullah Zazai looked menacing with the bat and smashed a blistering 77 runs off 38 balls with the help of 10 fours and 5 sixes. He stitched crucial partnerships with Imam-ul-Haq and Kamran Akmal to see Peshawar get off to a flying start.
Amad Butt might come in place of all-rounder Khalid Usman for this must-win game.
In the bowling department, Mohammad Irfan and Wahab Riaz delivered a superb performance with the new-ball and picked up four wickets between them. The duo will be hoping to continue their splendid bowling in this Eliminator game.
The wicket at Sheikh Zayed Stadium has provided a tight contest between bat and ball. The weather forecast for the game on Tuesday will be sunny intervals with light breeze.
Both the teams have competed in 15 matches in the history of Pakistan Super League. The rivalry between United and Zalmi has been quite competitive one as both the sides have managed to win seven games apiece.
In the previous meeting between two teams, Islamabad United managed to beat Peshawar Zalmi in a run-fest.
Player in form
Afghanistan opener Hazratullah Zazai has been excellent addition to the Peshawar’s batting lineup. Left-hander delivered a match-winning performance with the bat in the Eliminator game played against Karachi. The team management will be hoping that Zazai can continue his merry ways with the bat.
Despite their defeat in Qualifier game, Islamabad United look better placed to win this knockout game against Peshawar Zalmi. On the other hand, Peshawar Zalmi will need to deliver a disciplined performance to overcome Islamabad United in this all-important clash.
Expect Islamabad United to go through to the finals of 2021 Pakistan Super League.