United, Qalandar fight for playoff qualification tonight


Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars will lock horns tonight (March 9) as the newly renovated National Stadium Karachi (NSK) is all set to host the last stage of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season four.

United are just one step away from their qualification to the playoffs while Qalandars need to win two matches as they are settled on the fifth position at points table with six points.

Having balanced sides, both the outings will show their dominance in front of an enthusiastic crowd at NSK who was waiting since long to see high-profile cricket action.

United are having the services of Luke Ronchi who will be looking to show his power at NSK for the second time. He has so far scored 297 runs and currently is the second highest run scorer of the tournament.

Cameron Delport will support his compatriot as the left-handed opening batsman keeps the ability to give a strong start to his team. He has 172 runs in his account in nine innings but he can be lethal on his day.

Hussain Talat and Philip Salt will add depth to United’s batting line as both batsmen are capable of tackling the pressure by coming in middle-order.

On the other hand, Qalanadars have their skipper Fakhar Zaman who is failed to perform strongly so far in this event. He has only scored 194 runs in eight innings at an average of 24.25 but he can be a trump card for his team with the bat.

Rikki Wessels, who has joined Qalandars’ squad for Pakistan leg, is an attractive addition for the team who is eying a spot in playoffs. The right-handed wicket-keeper batsman has a vast of T20 cricket. He has played 204 T20 scoring 4820 runs and a decent strike rate of 137.55.

Anton Devcich and Sohail Akhtar are expected to show some courage as the batsmen have the ability to showcase power hitting.

The Skipper of United Mohammad Sami will lead the bowling attack for his team as he is the only bowler to take hat-trick this season. Faheem Ahsraf will give company to his captain as the right-arm medium fast bowler is the third highest wicket-taker of this season so far with 13 wickets.

Shadab Khan will spin the bowl for his team and is a threat for opponents while Samit Patel will show his presence as a left-arm spinner.

Shaheen Shah Afridi will hunt wickets for Qalandars and lead his side from the front with pace bowling. Young Haris Rauf is likely to dominate with pace as he has bagged 11 wickets in this season.

Hailed from Nepal, Sandeep Lamichhane is ready to play for the first time in Karachi but his experience of playing the leagues all around the world makes him a competent candidate for Qalandars.

It depends on both teams that how they plan the things as a strong team on the ground will wrap up the victory. Cricket fans in Karachi are ready to see international stars and hopefully yet another exciting clash awaits PSL’s audience.