Peshawar Zalmi have won the toss and have opted to field
Multan Sultans brought their A-game against Peshawar Zalmi in their last encounter and posted 210/3, thanks to Mohammad Rizwan and Rilee Rossouw’s staggering batting display. Zalmi ran out of ideas against the onslaught of Rossouw and their bowlers Wahab Riaz, Khurram Shahzad and James Neesham bled plenty of runs.
In reply, Zalmi started off well, Mohammad Haris looked solid for his 40 but a suicidal call for a run resulted in his run-out and thereon Babar Azam was trapped lbw early in the piece by Ihsanullah.
Saim Ayub played some breathtaking shots and thumped a brilliant half-century but then Usama Mir brought Sultans right back into the game with timely scalps of Ayub, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, and Bhanuka Rajapaksa.
On the other hand, Gladiators’ overseas signing Martin Guptill decimated Karachi Kings’ bowling attack with a magnificent 117 that hauled them out of trouble after losing wickets in quick succesion during the powerplay. Guptill single-handedly saved the game and helped Sarfaraz-Ahmed led side post 168/7.
Gladiators were tottering at 23/4 in the seventh over but Guptill resurrected them from a dicey situation. It was a remarkable one-man show as he carried out major rebuilding work with Iftikhar Ahmed, putting up a 69-run stand and then took the accelerating role in the partnership with Nawaz.
Guptill was severe on Andrew Tye and clubbed him for three maximums in the penultimate over and three fours in a massive 30-run over. Kings started off their chase in a similar fashion and they lost three wickets in the powerplay.
Mohammad Hasnain got the big wicket of Matthew Wade. Shoaib Malik and Irfan Khan stitched a wonderful partnership and the veteran batter almost took Kings over the line but Naseem Shah and Mohammad Hasnain were able to hold them off in the 18th and 19th overs.
Quetta versus Peshawar is arguably the second biggest rivalry after Lahore-Karachi and there have been some fascinating contests between these two sides over the years. Quetta have outsmarted Peshawar on eight occasions while Peshawar got the better of them in 11 games.
And for what promises to be an exhilarating contest, I (Rvel Zahid) am going to be your eyes and ears. Enjoy the game!
Early days in the tournament and the teams are still figuring out their best XIs. There’s not much to chose between today’s opponents – Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi.
Both have played two, lost one and won one. Coincidentally, both have lost against Multan Sultans and won against Karachi Kings. These were two of the most consistent teams in the early seasons of PSL but Quetta haven’t made the playoffs for the last three years while Peshawar have made it to the playoffs every single year.
Zalmi also acquired Pakistan’s best batter in Babar Azam this season and will look to break the trophy drought since the second season. These two have had some nail-biting battles in the past and hope they give us something similar today.