Islamabad United take on Quetta Gladiators in the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on 23 February, Tuesday.
Where to watch
The match starts at 3.30pm GMT. Live coverage of the game is available in the UK on Prime TV.
Neither Quetta nor Islamabad were expected to reach the final with many calling their squads weak and unbalanced. Islamabad are currently in form, coming into this encounter on the back of a four-match unbeaten streak. They boast of the only centurion of the tournament so far, Sharjeel Khan, who decimated the Peshawar Zalmi bowling attack on 21 February, scoring 117 off just 62 balls. The knock ensured that United qualified for the final. His return to form, along with contributions from Dwayne Smith and Brad Haddin, has helped Islamabad put on challenging totals on the board.
Andre Russell has led the bowling attack well, picking up 13 wickets. he has been ably supported by Mohammad Sami and Imran Khalid who have 11 and nine wickets respectively. Saeed Ajmal has missed the last two games due to injury, but is likely to make the playing XI ahead of Mohammad Irfan.
Quetta were the most unfancied team at the start of the tournament. They now may be the favourites to win the inaugural PSL. They were perhaps lucky to win the first playoff final against Peshawar Zalmi, but there is no doubt that the Gladiators deserve their spot in the final.
The most consistent side so far, Quetta's batting is their strong point. In Kevin Pietersen, Kumar Sangakkara, Luke Wright, Ahmed Shahzad, Sarfraz Ahmed and Grant Elliot, they have enough firepower to chase down any total. Mohammad Nawaz and Grant Elliot have starred with the ball, while Aizaz Cheema has managed to keep Umar Gul out of the side.
Englishman Luke Wright is expected to return to the side after missing the last two games due to stiffness. Otherwise Quetta are expected to field the same eleven that played in the first qualifying final.
Quetta Gladiators to win
Betting Odds (Ladbrokes)
- Islamabad United to win: 1
- Quetta Gladiators to win :4/5
The two teams have played twice so far in the PSL, with Quetta winning both those encounters.
Probable XI: Dwayne Smith, Sharjeel Khan, Brad Haddin (wk), Khalid Latif, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Andre Russell, Asif Ali, S Badree, Imran Khalid, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Irfan.
Probable XI:Ahmed Shehzad, Luke Wright, Bismillah Khan, Kevin Pietersen, Kumar Sangakkara, Sarfraz Ahmed (c&wk), Grant Elliott, Mohammad Nawaz, Zulfiqar Babar, Aizaz Cheema.