After a narrow loss against Lahore Qalandars on Wednesday in match 15 of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021, Islamabad United will look to bounce back when they take on Quetta Gladiators on Friday. Shadab Khan’s men will look to get a double over bottom-placed Quetta whom they had beaten by six wickets in match 12 of this edition.
Islamabad were good with the ball as they pushed the strong batting line-up of Lahore to the last ball but a top-order failure meant they were at least 10-15 runs short. Quetta, meanwhile, have the worst batting average (22.4) and bowling average (32.7) in the tournament so far and will look to make the most of West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell’s short stint in the second leg.
Matches – 12 | Islamabad United – 5 Wins | Quetta Gladiators – 7 Wins
Last 5 Matches:
Islamabad United – 2 Wins | Quetta Gladiators – 3 Wins
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms, we have come up with one team.
GROUND DETAILS AND TEAM COMBINATION
The surface in Abu Dhabi has had dew issues at the beginning of the first innings in match 15 where bowlers struggled with their release of the new ball. However, it did not play a part as the evening progressed. The slow nature of the pitch had often flummoxed the batsmen as there seemed to be a few spots in the good-length area which significantly slowed down the ball.
Since 2019, a total of 43 T20s have been played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium where pacers were more successful than the spinners claiming 287 of the 453 wickets.
Spinners claimed 36.2 per cent of the wickets and have the better average economy of 7. They will look to control the game far better than in the first leg of the tournament, where they averaged a wicket every 30 balls whereas the pacers had success every 20 balls on average. Leg-spin is also an effective tool as the likes of Rashid Khan, Shadab Khan and Fawad Ahmed have troubled batsmen in match 15.
Faf du Plessis had an excellent IPL 2021 with Chennai Super Kings where he scored 320 runs from seven matches at an average of 64 with a strike rate in the upper 140s. He is the best replacement to opener Alex Hales, as his wealth of experience is vital on a tricky Abu Dhabi surface.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Du Plessis could score 44-66 runs in this match.
Hasan Ali is not on the top of the wicket-takers chart having claimed eight wickets from five games in the first leg, but he has the tournament’s second-best economy (5.8) and is joint-top alongside Shaheen Shah Afridi with a dot-ball percentage of 52. Coming off a good performance against Zimbabwe, Ali claimed 2-27 against Qalandars on Thursday. He was quick to adapt to the slow nature of the pitch with cleverly disguised cutters and had bowled 14 dot balls.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Ali could claim 2-3 wickets in the match.
Andre Russell was not at his peak of his batting prowess in the suspended IPL with Kolkata Knight Riders. However, he brings a lot to the table with electric fielding and bowling through the middle overs. His stint in Abu Dhabi is going to last for four games before he joins the Windies which could inspire him to better his record at the venue where he averages 7.8 from five T20 innings.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Russell could score 16-24 runs in the match.
Sarfraz Ahmed is going through a bad spell as Quetta’s captain, but he is their best batsman in this edition with 185 runs from five matches at a strike rate of 146, including two fifties. He adds depth to the middle-order and has a good chance of raking up points as a wicketkeeper with a couple of catches.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Sarfraz could score 30-46 runs in the match.