In a crucial Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2022 mid-table clash, Islamabad United face Peshawar Zalmi in Lahore on Thursday. (More Cricket News)
Islamabad United are the most successful side in the history of PSL, having won the title in 2016 and 2018. But they have failed to make the finals in the last three editions. Shadab Khan & Co are more than capable and motivated enough to end the dry spells.
But they first need to negotiate the league stage. Third in the points table after seven matches, United have fixtures against Peshawar Zalmi (tonight), Lahore Qalandars (Saturday) and Multan Sultans (Sunday).
A win against last season's runners-up Zalmi will put United in a prime position to finish at least second. Defending champions Sultans lead the points table with 14 from eight matches, while Qalandars are second with 10 from seven.
For Wahab Riaz-led Zalmi, the most they can have is 12 points. Any slip-up in either of the remaining fixtures (vs United tonight and vs Qalandars on Monday) could jeopardize their play-off hopes.
With Karachi Kings already out of the top four contentions, it's down to five teams with Quetta Gladiators (six points from eight matches) being the fifth.
In the 17 previous head-to-head fixtures, both Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi have won eight matches each. Their first-leg meeting in the 2020 season was abandoned.
Match and telecast details
Match: 24th match of Pakistan Super League 2022, Islamabad United vs Peshawar Zalmi
Date: February 17 (Thursday), 2022
Time: 8:00 PM IST/7:30 PM local
Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
TV Channels: Sony Sports Network
Live Streaming: SonyLIV
In Pakistan: A Sports, PTV Sports, Ten Sports, Daraz, Tapmad and Cricwick.
Willow TV (North America), Flow Sports (Caribbean), Sky Sports (United Kingdom), Sky Sport (New Zealand) and SuperSport (Africa).
Playing XIs in the previous match
Islamabad United (vs Karachi Kings): Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Alex Hales, Muhammad Akhlaq, Shadab Khan (c), Asif Ali, Azam Khan (wk), Hasan Ali, Liam Dawson, Faheem Ashraf, Waqas Maqsood, Zeeshan Zameer.
Peshawar Zalmi (vs Quetta Gladiators): Hazratullah Zazai, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Haris (wk), Liam Livingstone, Shoaib Malik, Hussain Talat, Sherfane Rutherford, Wahab Riaz (c), Salman Irshad, Usman Qadir, Mohammad Umar.
Islamabad United: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Alex Hales, Muhammad Akhlaq, Shadab Khan (c), Liam Dawson, Azam Khan (wk), Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Waqas Maqsood, Zeeshan Zameer, Colin Munro, Marchant de Lange, Zafar Gohar, Muhammad Musa, Zahir Khan, Danish Aziz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Huraira, Athar Mahmood, Mubasir Khan.
Peshawar Zalmi: Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Haris (wk), Liam Livingstone, Shoaib Malik, Hussain Talat, Sherfane Rutherford, Ben Cutting, Wahab Riaz (c), Usman Qadir, Mohammad Umar, Salman Irshad, Kamran Akmal, Sohail Khan, Amad Butt, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Sameen Gul, Patrick Brown, Arshad Iqbal, Haider Ali, Arish Ali Khan, Mohammad Aamir Khan, Sirajuddin, Yasir Khan.