Chasing 168, one doesn’t expect a top order batsman to score 41 at a strike rate 97. Alex Hales, was perhaps a little bit rusty from his travels. Thrown at the deep end, he did held one end up as others tried to attack from the other end. But even in such a situation, one wouldn’t associate such a languid innings from the Englishmen. Yet, Kings couldn’t capitalize as Asif Ali, Cameron Delport, Talat Hussain and Faheem Ashraf all scored at a strike rate of over 140. The lack of penetration or defensive skills shown by Karachi Kings and lapses in field meant that United went through.
Peshawar do not lack anything in their bowling. They have one of the best bowling attacks in the competition. Hasan Ali can rip apart top order if he finds any swing in the air. Tymal Mill and Wahab Riaz’s can both clock over 145 consistently and their defensive skills are 2nd to none. Sameen Gul, might have been targeted in recent games but he is no push over. Even Pollard has recovered his desire to ball a couple. They will not allow the likes of Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf or Hussain Talat to have it their way.
United choose 4 foreign players in their top 4. Apart from Delport, other three wouldn’t be proud of their efforts, no doubt. They could pick the same side or Samit Patel could come in place of Walton to give them a 2nd bowling option. Shadab Khan, last night bowled a tight spell even though Ingram tried to attack him. Islamabad pace attack’s defensive skills however are perhaps as good as Zalmis. They are superb usually at the death.
All said and done, Zalmi perhaps are slight favourites for this one. Islamabad have had an up and down tournament. Never really finding that right combination of players. They would have to raise their game substantially to beat this Zalmi side. Or we will see a rematch of the PSL 2 final.