Bottom topper Quetta will face Islamabad in Friday’s clash of Pak T20 League 2021 to add one more victory of the season. Meanwhile, Islamabad will look to take the top spot back.
Match Timings: June 11, 9:30 PM IST
After a thrilling encounter with Lahore. Two-times winner Islamabad will be back in action to face Quetta, the side who managed one win out of five games. After Karachi's leg, Quetta ended two trends in Pak T20 League 2021. First, they defeated Multan to end their 4-matches losing streak this season, and second, they become the first team to defend a total this season after 13 matches.
Sarfaraz’s troops changed all the trends after losing the fifth successive toss and this time, they defended the total with the spin. Usman Khan introduced as an opener and he scored 81 off 50 balls. The middle-order couldn’t deliver much but somehow, they got 176 on board. Quetta’s bowling started on a similar route after conceding 63 in 8 overs and the wicket was missing. Sarfaraz picked three spinners in the squad and they did wonder in crucial middle-overs with picking 6 wickets in a 12-overs spell. Qais Ahmed bagged 3 for 21 and didn’t allow Multan to settle.
Quetta desperately needed a win and they got at the right time. The tournament is entering in the second half and Quetta needs to extend this winning for more matches. Quetta will miss Tom Banton, Dale Steyn, Anwar Ali, Chris Gayle, and Ben Cutting in the second half. They made smart moves by picking Andre Russell, Jack Wildermuth, Jake Weatherald, Khurram Shehzad, and Zahir Khan. Russell will replace Cutting to add the finishing touch to the team and Zahir Khan would be a good inclusion to boost the spin combination. Faf also had an impressive outing with Chennai in Indian T20 League so he can change the story of Quetta in the second half.
Meanwhile, two-time winner Islamabad lost a good opportunity to take two points against Lahore. They failed to deliver with the bat but their bowlers made the task interesting but in death-overs, they slipped badly. The new opening pair of Khawaja and Munro didn’t deliver and later, Islamabad collapsed to lost 7 wickets on 93. Some important runs were added by down-order to take them to 143. These runs proved worthy when Islamabad kept the run-rate down and in pressure of run-rate, Lahore made mistakes. The game was in good control but Rashid’s late fire took two points from them. Batting needs a big improvement after this defeat and they failed to score in middle-overs when Rashid was bowling. Shadab’s idea of giving the ball to Hussain Talat was a bad idea when he also had one over left in the spell.
Islamabad has a good balance and they just need to focus more on its depth. The local players will be crucial in middle-order if they get a good start from the foreign top-order. Munro’s form would matter for this side if they look to finish in the top two. Quetta looks favourites but still, toss will play a major role.
Abu dhabi’s surface is a decent T20 surface and it offers a good amount of assistance to batsmen. Pacers can take some help from the pitch. The chasing side will have an advantage considering the behavior of the pitch.
Usman Khawaja, Colin Munro, Shadab Khan (c), Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Rohail Nazir (wk), Hasan Ali, Fawad Ahmed, Mohammad Wasim Jr
Faf du Plessis, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Cameron Delport, Azam Khan, Saim Ayub, Andre Russell, Mohammad Nawaz, Zahid Mahmood, Zahir Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Shinwari
A quality t20 batter and might be dangerous in powerplay
Can bat up in the order & a solid all-round package
Top-form in Pak T20 League 2021 after batting in top-order
Faf du Plessis
Leading run-scorer for Chennai in Indian T20 League 2021, current form gives him an edge among all batsmen