BY: | Waqas Jawaid Arain |
As we are just hours away before the start of the much awaited Pakistan Super League (PSL) finale between defending champions Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United on Sunday, here are some players to watch out for who can do the damage.
It will be a contest between best Bowling attack vs best Batting attack.
Faheem Ashraf is fast emerging as one of the most sought-after all-rounders in Pakistan. He bats at the lower order and can hit lofty sixes when it is required of him.
Faheem leads the bowling table of the PSL with the highest number of wickets. He has taken 17 wickets in total and dismissed leading batsmen from all other five teams.
Islamabad will be hoping that a week without cricket – by far the longest break they have had during the competition – has not cooled Luke Ronchi’s hot streak.
Last time out, he savaged Karachi’s vaunted bowling attack in Dubai to the tune of an unbeaten 92. In the process, he posted the fastest half-century in the tournament – just 19 balls – and he had hit the two previous fastest, too. He stands at third in highest runs getter with 383 runs in 10 innings.
This left-handed SoutAfrican is the one with the most experience after Misbah-ul-Haq in the squad. In light of Misbah missing out the final owing to an injury, Duminy will be leading the side. An aggressive batsman, he has the ability to smash every bowler in the PSL.
This left-handed batsman is a pinch-hitter and is instrumental in winning games for Islamabad during run-chases. Talat can hit straight sixes with his bat and is very good against pacers.
In Hussain Talat, Islamabad United has a player that can finish the game in style.
Mohammad Sami has performed well in both preceding PSL tournaments. Not only has he taken plenty of wickets but bowled economically to contain batsmen when they are at their dangerous best. While Sami may have been a spent force, his sheer pace makes him a big gun when it comes to the T20 format of the game.
The Karachi Express was instrumental in taking Islamabad to the Super Over against Lahore Qalandars during the earlier stages of the tournament. Islamabad emerged the victor after the Super Over.
Star Batsmen will be the key player from Peshawar Zalmi to watch out in PSL Final today. Akmal with a strike rate of 158.20 has scored 424 runs in 12 matches. He is the only player which has scored a century in this season. If United has to win the Final they definitely need to knock him soon.
He has smashed more than 20 sixes in this tournament, scored two blistering fifties and one torrential century that put fear into the hearts of bowlers that face him.
He is another reason most opponents dread facing Peshawar Zalmi’s bowling attack. Wahab Riaz bowls at blistering pace and has the ability to both seam and swing the ball. The left-arm fast bowler is Peshawar Zalmi’s leading wicket-taker of all time.
Hasan Ali has become a force to be reckoned with in recent times. The right-arm fast bowler has bamboozled batsmen all over the world and continued his impressive run at this year’s PSL as well. Hasan Ali seems to be in lethal form as he bowled with deadly accuracy against Quetta Gladiators and took crucial wickets to cripple their middle-order.
Dareen Sammy is arguably the most popular cricketer in Pakistan Super League after Shahid Afridi. He captained Zalmi to their maiden PSL victory last year.
Sammy which is struggling from Knee injury despite he decided to play the League as he is a fighter which had fought many times for his team.
History was made at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium when an injured Darren Sammy limped to the pitch and single-handedly steered Peshawar Zalmi to victory in a nail-biting finish against Quetta Gladiators.
Sammy smashed two sixes and one four in the four balls he faced, ensuring a much-needed victory for his side with two balls to spare.
Overall cricket would be the winner in Karachi which had not hosted a major cricket game in nearly a decade.