Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators: Better Quetta vetted

Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators
Friday 11 June, 17:00
TV: live on Sky Sports

United trumped

Islamabad United suffered defeat in the first match of the resumed PSL on Wednesday. They batted with all the vim and vigour of a team and competition which had been mothballed.

A total of 143 batting first against Lahore could well prove to be competitive on the Abu Dhabi surface and they were up against a fine bowling group but we would have liked to see more aggression. Usman Khawaja, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed and Hussain talat were all guilty of being far too slow.

Their bowlers, at least, did show some gumption and took it to the last ball, coming back admirably when all looked lost. Still, one of them - Faheem Ashraf - is now out for three games after splitting the webbing on his hand. His all-round qualities will surely be missed. Muhammad Musa or Akif Javed could come in or batting all-rounder Umar Amin could play

Possible XI Khawaja, Munro, Nazir, Shadab, Iftikhar, Talat, Asif Ali, Musa, Hasan, M Wasim, Fawad.

Quetta in better shape

Quetta shared bottom spot with Multan Sultans before resumption and they have an awful lot to do if they are to make the play-offs. A minimum of three wins from their last five might just squeeze them in on run rate.

Faf Du Plessis’s return is a major boost and they have done well on recruitment. Indeed, they are probably stronger than before. Tom Banton, Dale Steyn, Chris Gayle and Ben Cutting are out but Andre Russell is a massive capture while Jack Wildermuth and Jake Weatherald are astute signings.

In part one they were unluky to be on the wrong side of the toss bias but they were the one outfit to buck the trend by beating Multan when defending a score.

The change in venue and personnel gives them a good opportunity to overturn form and data. They were bottom of the pile on both batting and bowling economy rates. They should be more competitive this time.

Possible XI Du Plessis, Weatherald, Usman Khan, Sarfaraz, Russell, Nawaz, Wildermuth, Shinwari, Qais, Hasnain, Anwar Ali

Pitch report

The chasing bias continued in the PSL with Lahore’s win. But it would be folly to bet blind that conditions in the UAE are the same as they were in Pakistan for part one. We’re particularly interested in the impact dew has at one of the hottest times of the year in Abu Dhabi. For later matches, a wet ball is possible for both innings. That could still mean defending is tough but innings runs could tick up as well. But for the earlier starts, batting second is likely to prove beneficial once again.

Quetta a wager

Islamabad have put their hands up for an early shout of worst value of part two. The 1.738/11 on the match odds could well be a wager that stinks the place out.

So no surprise that we’re more than happy to have a dart on Quetta. We will keep the toss bias on side because of the dew factor likely to be more important in the earlier matches.

These are odds which have been chalked up on the basis of what happened pre-postponement. Quetta are in better shape and Faheem’s absence swings it. We should still be able to get 2.1011/10 Quetta in a chase.

Tops value

It’s a bit of a surprise that Muhammad Hasnain, an out-and-out wicket-taker, is not jolly for top Quetta bowler. He returns 47% of the time in the last three editions. We’ll take Sportsbook’s 11/4. Usman Shinwari is 5/2 favourite but his return rate is 18.7%. For Islamabad, Hasan Ali now has little to beat with Faheem injured. He returns 46.4% of the time so the 9/4 is justified.

For batters, we picked up a winner on Kushdil Shah for the Sultans on Wednesday. He touched 100/1 in-play. But there seems no obvious repeat option. Prices of note for Quetta are Du Plessis at 11/4 and Russell at 10/3.

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