The Islamabad United side and the Lahore Qalandars will face off in the 9th match of the tournament as both sides look to assert their authority in Pakistan Super League having won their previous matches.
Both the Lahore and Islamabad sides lost their first two matches but clinched victories in their third match respectively and finally made a comeback of sorts in the tournament. Islamabad United won their match against the Karachi Kings while Lahore Qalandars outclassed the impressive Quetta Gladiators.
Confidence of Qalandars sky high
Having played a fierce knock of 93 runs in the previous match, the eyes will be on Umar Akmal during the match as people of Sharjah will be waiting for another fiery innings from the young and talented batsman. In order to post a good total on the board a good start is vital and that is exactly what the Lahore Qalandars did in their match against the Quetta Gladiators and this is precisely the thing they need to repeat in order to succeed in their upcoming matches. The confidence of the Lahore side will be sky high after their resounding win in the previous match and hopefully they can carry on the momentum and strengthen their position in the league.
Lahore have a pretty decent bowling attack with the likes of Mendis, Zafar Gohar and the two Windies player in the form of Bravo and Cooper who are quite good in their respective areas so they need to make sure they stick to their task and contain the opposition.
The Islamabad United perspective
For the the United team Sharjeel and Khalid Latif looked in good touch in the match against the Kings but they will want some of their top guns in the form of Watson and Misbah to finally come up with a good knock. In the previous match the Islamabad side had a significantly higher target in sight but a collapse meant that they were short of the total they would have liked. In the match against the Qalandars they need to make sure that such a thing does not happen or else they might end up on the losing side.
Islamabad will look towards their bowlers once again as they were the ones who won them the game during their previous match. It has been a pleasant sight to see Saeed Ajmal back in form, who bagged the man of the match award against the Karachi Kings, because he is crucial to United’s chances in the tournament. Saeed has already picked up 4 wickets in 2 matches during the Pakistan Super League.
It seems as if both side will go unchanged for the next match but it will be interesting to see whether the Qalandars bring back the explosive Chris Gayle in the mix once again. Gayle failed to deliver in the first two matches which is why he was sidelined.
First match at Sharjah
This will be the first match at the historic Sharjah stadium so it will be interesting to see how the pitch behaves and what will the average run scored during the second round of matches here. Other teams will also be closely following this match because they would also like to gauge the conditions before they step on the Sharjah stadium.
In short an exciting contest is on our hands later tonight.