While many would not consider Islamabad United to be fortunate after they became the first team ever in the history of the Pakistan Super League to qualify for the playoffs with eight points, they could not have been more fortunate after getting into the playoffs against a depleted opponent. They will be up against Peshawar Zalmi, who did a pretty good job on the league stage, and this upcoming match is expected to be nothing less than a cracking contest. The match between the two sides is to be played at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on the evening of Thursday, 24th February 2022.
PESHAWAR ZALMI VS ISLAMABAD UNITED TEAM PREVIEWS
Just at the time they qualified for the playoffs, Peshawar Zalmi received a major blow with four of their members testing positive for Covid-19. Given that a few of their players in Liam Livingstone, Sherfane Rutherford, and Tom Kohler Cadmore were already unavailable for the eliminator, the players testing positive for the virus could be a deadly blow. They have roped in Benny Howell for the remainder of their matches and Zalmi would want him to be at his best right from the word go.
Peshawar Zalmi did a fantastic job in the league stage, winning six of their matches and losing just four. They are coming off a fantastic outing in their last match wherein they defeated Lahore Qalandars in the Super Over to grab two important points
Even though they are missing some of their key overseas players, they have a pretty good repo of local players. A lot will depend on the likes of Shoaib Malik, Hussain Talat, and Mohammad Haris for Zalmi to do well with the bat. On the bowling front, the onus will lie with Wahab Riaz. If their familiar players can do the job, beating Peshawar Zalmi is going to be an incredibly difficult task.
Islamabad United was at one time one of the better-placed sides to qualify for the playoffs at the end of the first half, but they seemed to completely lose the plot in the second half of the group stage. After being at the second spot on the ladder for quite some time, Islamabad United eventually finished at the fourth spot with just eight points to their name.
The primary reason for United’s dismal run in their last few matches was the absence of Shadab Khan, who has now recovered from the injury he sustained earlier. Apart from that, there aren’t many concerns that Islamabad United would be having, especially with Alex Hales set to return to join his side.
All in all, with the return of Shadab Khan, Islamabad United does look a lot stronger than they looked in their last few matches. They would need their star players to fire in this upcoming match and if they can do that, getting past Islamabad United is going to be a steep climb.
Match: Peshawar Zalmi vs Islamabad United, Eliminator 1 PSL 2022.
Date: February 24, 2022.
Time: 8:00 PM IST
Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
The surface at the Gaddafi Stadium is a batting paradise. The ball is expected to do a bit initially, but apart from that, there isn’t much on offer for the bowlers. The team that wins the toss could look to chase. A total of 170 runs could be a par score on this surface, considering the scoreboard pressure of a playoff game.
Intermittently partly overcast conditions are expected to be a feature on matchday. The temperature is expected to range between 11 and 23 degrees Celsius. No rain is expected during the day.
PESHAWAR ZALMI VS ISLAMABAD UNITED MATCH PREDICTION
Peshawar Zalmi is a quality team and has played some good cricket throughout the season. Islamabad United, meanwhile, is a formidable side but has blown hot and cold. The Zalmi are marginal favorites to finish on top in this game.