Friday Feb 26, 2021
KARACHI: After missing qualification to the PSL play-offs for the first time last season, Quetta Gladiators – the champions of the 2019 season – have started the 2021 season in a similar fashion and are currently on the bottom of the points table after losing both games they’ve played so far.
They will, however, look to change the fortunes on Friday evening when they meet their most regular opponent Peshawar Zalmi in match 8 of Pakistan Super League 2021.
Quetta started their 2021 with a disappointment when they were heavily defeated by Karachi Kings in the tournament opener, while in the second game, they were outclassed by Lahore Qalandars and the game once again exposed Quetta’s weak bowling line.
Their bowlers, other than Mohammad Hasnain, have not been very impressive but the availability of South African Dale Steyn will boost Sarfaraz Ahmed’s confidence who clearly looked unhappy with the lacklustre performance by the bowlers in the first two games of the league.
Quetta will also need some runs from Tom Banton. Sarfraz Ahmed, who scored 40 against Qalandars, will also be important for the side in its quest to make a comeback. Sarfraz and Moin Khan – the head coach of the side – will also need to work to out their best XI on the ground for the match.
Peshawar Zalmi, meanwhile, will enter the game with some edge over Gladiators after a remarkable run-chase against Multan Sultans on Tuesday.
They lost the first game to Qalandars and looked in serious trouble after Multan set a target of 194 for them but a collective effort by Zalmi’s batsmen made it a smooth sail for the side and they chased the total with six balls remaining.
Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Sherfane Rutherford, Shoaib Malik and Haider Ali all contributed to the success and will remain key for Zalmis in the game against Quetta.
English cricketer Ravi Bopara, who scored a 50 in the first game, will also play an important part for the Wahab Riaz-led side.
Their bowling also looks strong with the likes of Wahab Riaz, Mujeeb ur Rahman, and Saqib Mahmood in the ranks.
Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators have faced each other 16 times in PSL history with Gladiators having a slight 8-7 edge over Zalmis. One game ended as no-result.
Peshawar Zalmi: Haider Ali, Kamran Akmal, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ravi Bopara, Sherfane Rutherford, Amad Butt, Umaid Asif, Saqib Mahmood, Imam-ul-Haq, Muhammad Imran, Mohammad Irfan, Ibrar Ahmed, and Mohammad Amir Khan.
Quetta Gladiators: Anwar Ali, Azam Khan, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Zahid Mahmood, Dale Steyn, Tom Banton, Usman Khan Shinwari, Cameron Delport, Qais Ahmad, Abdul Nasir, Saim Ayub, Arish Ali Khan, Usman Khan, and Faf du Plessis.