PSL 2019: Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi tussle in second Eliminator for final berth

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Islamabad United's Asif Ali.

Defending champions Islamabad United will be eyeing a place in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final when they face Peshawar Zalmi in the second Eliminator on Friday.

Quetta Gladiators await the winners of the encounter in the final.

Islamabad are fresh from their success against Karachi Kings on Thursday, winning the first Eliminator by four wickets.

Their deep batting order was on show again as they chased down a target of 162 with three balls to spare.

After Cameron Delport and Alex Hales set up the innings nicely at the top of the order, a momentary wobble meant the talents of Hussain Talat, Asif Ali and Faheem Ashraf were needed to get over the line.

With so many players capable of contributing to put runs on the board, they always have a chance, even if Luke Ronchi doesn’t get going.

The way their bowling attack was dispatched to all parts of the ground early on in Karachi’s innings was only as concerning as their fightback – led by PSL 2019’s second-highest wicket-taker Faheem Ashraf and seamer Muhammad Musa – was encouraging.

Peshawar Zalmi on the other hand has been one of the standout teams this season. Indeed, they topped the league table with seven wins from their 10 matches before losing the qualifier to second place Quetta Gladiators.

Led by the league’s top wicket-taker this season, Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz, Peshawar boast the strongest bowling attack but that didn’t stop in-form Shane Watson from showing them little respect during his match-winning knock of 71 from 43 balls during the Qualifier.

While Kamran Akmal and Immam-ul-Haq have been good at the top of the order without producing fireworks on a regular basis, Peshawar do boast plenty of power hitters lower down.

The likes of Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy are capable and the duo nearly pulled off a stunning chase against Quetta. Pollard (44 off 22) and Sammy (46 off 21) both had 200-plus strike rates as they took Peshawar far before falling in quick succession at the death.

LIKELY XIs

Islamabad United: Luke Ronchi (wk), Alex Hales, Cameron Delport, Chadwick Walton, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Sami (c), Muhammad Musa, Rumman Raees

Peshawar Zalmi: Kamran Akmal (wk), Imam-ul-Haq, Liam Dawson, Kieron Pollard, Sohaib Maqsood, Darren Sammy (c), Chris Jordan, Umar Amin, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Sameen Gul

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