Karachi (March 24, 2018): After the passage of nine years the National Stadium will light up on Sunday to welcome cricket’s homecoming to Pakistan’s biggest city, as fans are awaiting the moment when they throng to National Stadium to watch two great teams face off for Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2018 trophy.
The race for the crown of the PSL not new for both the teams as either side has tasted the trophy.
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Islamabad United, under the sure-footed leadership of Misbah, lifted the maiden PSL trophy in 2016. Peshawar Zalmi, led by the charismatic Darren Sammy, were crowned the champions in 2017. After beating Karachi Kings in the second eliminator on Wednesday, Peshawar Zalmi took their tally of overall wins to 19 – the most by any team in the PSL.
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Islamabad United have qualified after dismantling Karachi Kings in the first eliminator while Peshawar Zalmi had won both of their eliminators to book their place for finale in Karachi.
In the league stage, both team faced each other twice and won one match each. Zalmi’s opener Akmal is top scorer thus far whereas Islamabad United’s Fahim Ashraf is the top wicket-taker with 17 wickets to his name.It means the top batsmen of the PSL will face the top bowler.
Sunday’s contest will truly be between the two best teams of PSL, and only the better team will win.
Head coach: Mohammad Akram
Captain: Darren Sammy
Squad: Darren Sammy (c), Tamim Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, Andre Fletcher, Riki Wessels, Hammad Azam, Haris Sohail, Khushdil Shah, Umaid Asif, Saad Nasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Liam Dawson, Sameen Gul, Hasan Ali, Chris Jordan, Mohammad Asghar, Wahab Riaz
Head coach: Dean Jones
Captain: JP Duminy (in absence of injured Misbah-ul-Haq)
Squad: JP Duminy (c), Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Mohammad Hasan, Chadwick Walton, Rohail Nazir, Luke Ronchi, Amad Butt, Hussain Talat, Samit Patel, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Samuel Badree, Steven Finn, Mohammad Sami, Zafar Gohar, Waqas MaqsoodIn The Spotlight
The final is anticipated for its own merits as a contest, of course, but an absorbing mini-contest revolves around the dazzling form of each side’s wicketkeeper-batsman.
Kamran Akmal and Luke Ronchi are both 36, have both been opening the batting, and presently sit at No. 1 and No. 3 on the PSL run charts with 424 and 383 runs respectively. Both are major reasons for their respective teams making the final this season.
Both have exhibited extraordinary skill in power-hitting, and are brimming with the confidence, and will be at the forefront of their respective opposition bowling attacks leading into the game.
- Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi have the two best PSL win-loss ratios across three years. Islamabad have won 18 matches and lost 12, while Peshawar have won 19 and lost 13.
- Islamabad’s Faheem Ashraf is the tournament’s leading wicket-taker, with 17 wickets at a strike rate of 12.7 and an economy rate of 7.72. Peshawar’s Wahab Riaz is breathing down his neck with 16 wickets at an economy rate of 6.86 and a strike rate of 17.2.