Zalmi, Gladiators to lock horns in sell-out final at NSK

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The refurbished National Stadium has been prepared well to stage an explosive final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) between the resilient Peshawar Zalmi and consistent Quetta Gladiators.

The preparations have given final touch-ups as a star-studded closing ceremony is all set to take place in front of more than 32,000 spectators who will be cheering for the last time in this year’s PSL.

Both the outings will meet for the fourth time in this season of the PSL and Gladiators are leading the charge 3-0 against Darren Sammy led Zalmi which is a one-time champion of the only cricketing league of the country.

A well-balanced Gladiators’ side has set eyes strongly on a blockbuster final and is more than determined to finish the things on high for them in the extravaganza time around.

Having in-form Shane Watson in the side, skipper Sarfraz has high-hopes for the final contest as the wicket-keeper batsman coined Watson’s presence in their squad worthy. “As a team captain, every player is important for me but guys like Watson really let you feel comfortable as their presence is keen for youngsters around you. We are hoping that his bat will score runs for us in our final appearance in this season,” Sarfraz told reporters prior to their clash against Zalmi.

Sarfraz called Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shahzad key weapons for them in an unprecedented final which awaits thousands and thousands of fans. Both the batsmen are capable of jolting the opponents with clean power-hitting. “Umar and Shahazad are clearly two of our assets and are match-winners,” said Sarfraz who wants both the experienced guys to click in an all-important match.

Umar has scored 277 runs in 10 innings at an average of 34.62 which is ensuring that he can be lethal for his side on the day when all eyes will be on them. Shahzad also has a handsome average of 42.16 as he has so far scored 253 runs including three fifties.

Darren Sammy, on the other hand, looks confident to lift the coveted trophy of the glittering tournament. He was seen conversating with Sarfraz the other day during the trophy unveiling and said: “Today you have it, I will hold it tomorrow.”

Zalmi on charts look quite a decent lineup as their batsmen are in good knick having shown their power previously against Islamabad United in the second Eliminator where they posted something over 200.

“Kamran and Imam are two strong batsmen we have in our top order and if they click then no one can stop us clinching the title,” said Sammy who preferred batting first if toss goes his way.

Sammy, himself is a clean hitter and if he paired with his West Indies compatriot Kieron Pollard then no power can stop them from amusing the cricket fans with boundaries. Both can hit the ball big and change the fortunes for their team in no time. Both giants will serve for Zalmi in the lower batting order and most importantly when needed.

With the bowl, both sides have strong pacers as Gladiators maintained Mohammad Husnain’s consistency in the tournament. The young pace sensation keeps the ability to thrash the opponents with pace. Sohail Tanvir’s virtue is enough for Gladiators to have an upper hand over the opponents. Mohammad Nawaz will spin the deliveries for Gladiators as the left-armer has the ability to decieve batsmen cleverly.

Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz will hold the command of Zalmi’s pace attack as they both know who to pick wickets. Hasan, the highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 25 wickets, is expected to play a key factor for the Yellow Storm. Wahab with the ability of bowling perfect bouncers and yorkers will threat the batsmen.

All eyes are set on the much-awaited contest of the league. A crowd of 32,000 people will witness the action live in an iconic venue while the other cricket fans will be glued in front of their TV screens to watch a historic event. Both captains are ready to play quality cricket so let’s hope for a nail-biting contest at National Stadium Karachi.

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