PSL 2020, Match 1, Quetta Gladiators vs Islamabad United, Preview – Sarfaraz Ahmed and Co to flag off their campaign as defending champions
Quetta Gladiators. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Pakistan Super League 2020 edition is going to get kicked off from 20th of February with the curtain-raiser to be played between the defending champions Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United. Both the sides look fully equipped with some exciting players in their ranks, who are gearing up for the fifth season of the T20 tournament. The fans are expected to get an enthralling contest between the two heavyweights.

The season opener is scheduled to be played at National Stadium in Karachi. As far as this season of the tournament is concerned Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United have roped in some exciting players in the auction that will help their team in winning the prestigious trophy.

This season is going to be far more interesting as it is going to take place in Pakistan. And, this is the first-ever occasion that PSL is going to be played in the Men in Green nation. Moreover, overseas players have also given their nod to visit the subcontinent country for the T20 league.

Playing Combination

Quetta Gladiators

Shane Watson, without a doubt, will open the innings for Gladiators in the upcoming match. He will be plying his trades alongside Jason Roy in the curtain-raiser. It will be interesting to watch on how Jason Roy, who was bought by United in the auction, will perform with his willow.

Roy is quite an exciting T20 opener as he can single-handedly win the games for his team. Moreover, he had a great T20I series against South Africa where he ended up being the leading run-scorer for his team.

Ahsan Ali is expected to come out to bat at number three position followed by Ahmed Shehzad Umar Akmal and Sarfaraz Ahmed in the middle-order of the team. On the other hand, their bowling line up will be handled by young fast bowling prodigy Naseem Shah, Muhammad Hasnain. Ben Cutting will be used as a liquidity all-rounder. Also, Mohammad Nawaz will play a vital role in the lower middle-order with the bat and can also bowl some crucial overs for his side.

Probable XI: Shane Watson, Jason Roy, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c/wk), Ben Cutting, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hasnain, Fawad Ahmed, Naseem Shah, Sohail Khan

Islamabad United

Islamabad United are expected to go with Luke Ronchi and Colin Munro as their openers against Gladiators. Meanwhile, their middle-order that comprises of Colin Ingram, Asif Ali and Hussain Talat looks quite strong that can manage to click good knocks with the bat for their side.

The new recruitment Colin Munro is also a dashing opener who is in red-hot form with the bat. He did well in the concluded T20I series against India and now he would be eager to do the same for Islamabad United in PSL 5.

In bowling, they have the services of Muhammad Musa and Rumman Raees, who will form the bowling attack for Islamabad United based on their success in the previous season. Dale Steyn will not be available as he is scheduled to play T20I series against Australia starting on 21st of February.

Ashraf turned out to be the leading wicket-taker for his team in the previous season, who grabbed 21 wickets in 12 games. He will be the frontrunner to get into playing XI for the season opener. And, Shadab Khan will steer the spin bowling department from one end.

Probable XI: Luke Ronchi (WK), Colin Munro, Dawid Malan, Colin Ingram, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan (c), Mohammad Sami, Rumman Raees, Muhammad Musa.

The focus will be on

Jason Roy (Quetta Gladiators)

Jason Roy, the right-handed opener from England is in red hot form with the bat. He did extremely well with the bat in the recently concluded T20I series against South Africa. In three games he mustered 117 runs with two brilliant fifties. He will surely look to get off the mark with a match-winning knock for his side in the curtain-raiser.

Colin Munro (Islamabad United)

Colin Munro, the left-handed opener from New Zealand is also in good touch with the bat. He has been performing well in back to back tournaments. Munro had a great stint in Super Smash 2019-20 tournament followed by his brilliant performances in the recently-concluded T20I series against India. Chances are quite high that he will undoubtedly look to play a clinical knock for Islamabad United in the opening game.

Head to Head

Matches played – 12 | ISL won– 4 | QUE won – 3 | Draw – 0

Stat Attack

21 – Number of wickets taken by Faheem Ashraf in the previous season for Islamabad United

430 – Shane Watson ended as the leading run-scorer for Quetta Gladiators in PSL 4 with 430 runs.

Broadcast Details

TV – DSports

Live Streaming – Cricketgateway.com

Match Timings – 7:30 pm IST and 2:00 pm GMT