(February 18, Saturday)
Qalandars vs Gladiators 3:30 pm
United vs Zalmi 8:00 pm
SHARJAH February 17: Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators will clash in the opening game of the Sharjah Saturday double-header in the HBL PSL 2017 edition. Qalandars who won a thrilling encounter against the Karachi Kings on Thursday have accumulated four points and have recorded a total of two wins from their first four matches.
The Brendon McCullum led side has shown glimpses of their prowess with the bat with Jason Roy, Fakhar Zaman and Umar Akmal making handy contributions, McCullum himself is enduring a lean run though and would be hoping to make a big impact against the Gladiators as the franchises start eyeing the tournament play-offs.
Gladiators have history on their side after winning a closely fought opening encounter between the two teams that was played in Dubai, Sarfraz Ahmed and his bowlers held the Qalandars back as they succeeded in defending their 136 run total following a spectacular implosion by the Qalandars batting line-up despite a promising start to their chase.
There will be plenty of excitement on offer if the two teams can produce another close tie like the Dubai game.
United vs Zalmi 8:00 pm
Islamabad United seem to have the psychological edge over Peshawar Zalmi after eliminating them in last year’s play-off leg courtesy a blistering century by Sharjeel Khan. They scored another impressive win with almost a flawless chase in the opening match of this year’s tournament.
Zalmi had conversely won both their group games against United in the 2016 round-robin leg but seem to have relinquished their grip and have a big fight in store against Misbahul Haq’s team in the second match on Saturday.
Zalmi have shown good bowling depth and have an array of exciting stroke makers in their team, captain Daren Sammy and talisman Shahid Afridi would as always be a Sharjah crowd favourite when he strides out to the middle with the bat in his hand.
An Afridi cameo can surely derail the United bowling attack besides providing incredible excitement to the crowd, Misbah who has been an influential leader for United though would have other plans.
His team has shown excellent depth and experience in restricting the opposition in the death overs while their batsmen have the pedigree to tear into any bowling line-up.
Both teams have the capacity of playing high octane T20 cricket and richly entertain the passionate Sharjah cricket fans.