Friday Jan 28, 2022
KARACHI: The 2017 champions Peshawar Zalmi and 2019 title-winners Quetta Gladiators will come face to face in their Pakistan Super League (PSL) season seven kickoff at the National Stadium Karachi today (Friday).
The match begins at 7pm.
The Peshawar Zalmis will be without skipper Wahab Riaz, who is currently in isolation after his test for COVID-19 came back positive. Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik will captain the Zalmi on Friday's show.
The two sides have established themselves as formidable opponents throughout PSL's history. Both teams have met 17 times and Zalmis have a small edge with nine victories against Quetta Gladiators' eight.
Four matches have been played between the two teams at the National Stadium, with each team claiming two victories.
Apart from Wahab Riaz's injury, Zalmi will be without Kamran Akmal and pacer Arshad Iqbal, who are both in quarantine following positive COVID tests a few days ago.
Zalmi had the upper hand in the previous two seasons, having swept all four matches, two each in a season. Quetta struggled to compete at full strength throughout the last two seasons. Quetta, on the other hand, appear more balanced this time around, and their pace bowling, in particular, may rattle Zalmi's powerful batting line-up.
Sarfaraz Ahmed, the Quetta Gladiators' skipper, recently praised his team's bowling during a news conference. They have speedster Mohammad Hasnain, who just had an impressive BBL debut, confounding the batters with his remarkable speed.
Naseem Shah, who demonstrated exceptional ability in the CPL, will also prove lethal for the opponents. Additionally, they have the expertise of Sohail Tanvir in addition to Mohammad Nawaz and Iftikhar Ahmed.
Will Smeed, 20, of England, Dan Lawrence, Ben Duckett, and Australian all-rounder James Faulkner would provide batting variety for the Gladiators, who also have Ahsan Ali, Iftikhar, Sarfaraz Ahmed, and Umar Akmal.
"This time around, I'm more confident in my bowling and I'm hopeful that our bowling lineup will put up a strong performance," said Sarfaraz.
Hasnain has also gained experience and has returned from Big Bash following a strong performance. Naseem Shah has bowled wonderfully in the CPL, and Sohail Tanvir and James Faulkner add experience.