United seek win as Gladiators hope to sustain momentum
SHARJAH: Defending champions Islamabad United are aiming to bounce back after losing their last game against the Lahore Qalandars in the ongoing second edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2017. The tournament moves to Sharjah after the opening six matches were staged at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
The historic Sharjah venue dubbed the second home of Pakistan cricket has staged more ODIs than any other venue in the world, last year the venue attracted full houses in almost all the PSL games played here.
United have a formidable task in front of them as they seek a change in fortunes against the high flying Quetta Gladiators who have won their opening two games against Lahore Qalandars and Karachi Kings.
Led by the impressive Sarfraz Ahmed, Gladiators have showed exemplary fighting abilities and spirit in their opening two games of the tournament, South African import Rilee Rossouw has been the star of the show with match winning knocks in both games while the bowling attack has also held its own.
Gladiators’ only worry is their misfiring top-order and they would be hoping for a return to form for their biggest star Kevin Pietersen, the former England batsman was dismissed cheaply both against Qalandars and Kings’.
United fans must have breathed easy as their inspirational captain Misbahul Haq made a welcome return to form during his unbeaten half-century against Qalandars, Misbah struck some lusty blows and looked close to his former self in his 36 ball 61 run innings that was studded with five sixes and three fours.
Misbah must be hoping for a better performance from his bowlers who have endure two poor performances in their opening two games, star spinner Saeed Ajmal must lift his game after two ordinary performances against Zalmi and Qalandars.
The Sharjah pitch meanwhile is likely to help the batsmen yet the spinners can join the party especially if the conditions dry up following a couple of days of light showers in the region.
The night match will get underway at 8:00pm local time.