Faheem a machine at big odds

Peshawar Zalmi v Islamabad United
Saturday 27 February, 15:00
TV: live on Sky Sports

Kings downed

The toss bias in the Pakistan Super League suits a limited Zalmi team just fine. At the break in their game against Quetta Gladiators, who had shortened to 1/3, they faced a target of 199. It was as robust a test of the toss trend as you’re likely to see.

They passed easily, getting up with three balls to spare. Although it was not always quite so straightforward. They needed late muscle from Sherfane Rutherford and Wahab Riaz to get them over the line. Rutherford striking at 200 for his unbeaten 36.

Zalmi can give it a biff. Which is just as well. They are now conceding runs at a rate of 9.2. They figure they’re a fifty-fifty chance pre-toss. Odds they’re happy with given their limitations.

Possible XI Imam, Kamran, Kohler-Cadmore, Rutherford, Shoaib Malik, Haider Ali, Wahab, Mujeed, Saqib, Imran, Irfan

Islamabad strong

Islamabad United are top of the table but considering the toss bias it’s not something that we - or anyone else 0- should be getting carried away with. Still, their balance is pretty good.

They have superb batting depth, which is probably the most important aspect for a title credential in a bowler-dominated tournament. They bat all the way down to No 8. Currently Lewis Gregory is slated to bat there and it’s fair to say it’s two places too low after he won them the game against Multan. They are spoilt for choice.

The bowling is not too shabby. They are conceding runs at around 8.6 an over. If they keep that up they can remain competitive even with the toss bias against them.

Possible XI Salt, Hales, Shadab, Faheem, Iftikhar, Talat, Asif Ali, Gregory, Hasan Ali, Gohar, Wasim

Pitch report

All eight matches so far at the Karachi National Stadium in this PSL have been won by the chaser. So it is now 15 wins in the last 17 for the chaser. More than 160 has been busted eight times in 20 but runscoring in this edition is getting easier. In the last five games more than 178 has been busted once and more than 190 three times.

Don’t be afraid to take big numbers on the innings runs market at the death of the first innings. Teams are looking to lay a platform for late hitting and we could see 30 or 40 scored in the last two overs.

United can chase big

Islamabad are 1.784/5 with Zalmi on 2.206/5. If all was fair in love and war we would say those prices, on ability, were about right. But as we know the toss is the big factor.

So if Zalmi were to win the toss and chase we’d probably be able to get with them at even money. Obviously we expect Islamabad to go sub 1.705/7 if the toss gos their way. Don’t be afraid to take chunkier prices at the break on Isalambad if they face a stiff chase. In an ideal world they concede 180 or more and we get with them at odds against taking that Zalmi attack to the cleaners.

Tops value

Couple of mistakes from Betfair Sportsbook to be aware of on the top Islamabad runscorer market. Shadab Khan is expected to continue batting at No 3 so the 6/1 is generous in the extreme. He could be joined one place lower by Faheem Ashraf, who slotted in at No 4 in their success over Karachi.

Faheem is rated at 25/1. He’s a fantastic striker, and like Mohammad Rizwan, is currently in the form of his life. We’ve been considering betting him even at Nos 6 and 7 because he’s so dangerous. The nig danger to both bets is Alex Hales, who has been price-boosted to 5/2.

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