PSL 2021: Match 2, Lahore Qalandars vs Peshawar Zalmi – Peshawar Zalmi Predicted Playing XI
Peshawar Zalmi. (Photo by ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images)

The Peshawar Zalmi side will begin their 2021 PSL campaign against the Lahore Qalandars side on 21st February 2021. The Zalmi side won the PSL title in the year 2017, and also finished as the runners up of the 2018 edition as well.

In the 2020 edition of the PSL, the Peshawar side finished at 4th place, and could muster just 4 wins from 10 games. They would definitely be hoping for a better campaign in the 6th edition of the PSL. The side would be led by Wahab Riaz in the 2021 edition.

The Peshawar side has a good mix of experienced players as well as talented youngsters in their roster. In this article, let us take a look at the predicted playing XI of the Peshawar side for their first game of the 2021 edition of the PSL.

Openers (Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Kamran Akmal)

Kamran Akmal PSL
Kamran Akmal. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Their openers for tomorrow’s game will be Tom Kohler Cadmore and Kamran Akmal. Akmal is a veteran in the PSL, and is in fact the highest run-scorer in the history of the league. The 39-year-old has plundered 1537 runs in the PSL and has scored his runs at an imposing strike rate of close to 140(138.34).

In the 2020 edition of the PSL, Akmal was in decent form, scoring 251 runs at an average of 27.88 and at an impressive strike rate of 161.93. Tom Kohler Cadmore, on the other hand, will be appearing in the PSL for the first time. The right-hander set the recently concluded Abu Dhabi T10 league on fire, and scored 206 runs at a strike rate of 206.00.

With such an explosive combination at the top of the order, the Peshawar Zalmi side can stamp their authority on the opposition in the initial stages of the game with the bat. Akmal will also don the wicketkeeping gloves.

Middle Order (Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, Ravi Bopara, Sherfane Rutherford)

Haider Ali
Haider Ali. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, Ravi Bopara, and Sherfane Rutherford will form the middle order of the Zalmi side for tomorrow’s rubber. In the previous season of the PSL, even though Haider Ali averaged only 26.55, he scored his runs at a blistering strike rate of 157.23. Ali scored a total of 239 runs in the tournament.

Shoaib Malik is a veteran who has seen it all in his two-decade-long career. The 39-year-old is the 4th highest run-scorer in the history of the PSL, and also averages a very respectable 31.30 in his PSL career. Malik has scored 1127 runs in the league thus far. Even in the previous season, the right-hander was in very good form. Malik scored 278 runs in the 2020 edition of the PSL and averaged 34.75 with the willow.

Ravi Bopara had an extremely disappointing campaign last year. The right-hander could score just 92 runs in 6 innings, and averaged a pathetic 15.33. He would be looking to turn things around in the 6th edition of the PSL.

Sherfane Rutherford played for the Karachi Kings in the 2020 edition of the PSL. The left-hander failed to get going in both the matches he played last year and scored just 1 run in 2 innings in the 5th PSL edition.

All Rounders (Amad Butt and Umaid Asif)

Amad Butt
Amad Butt. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The 2 all-rounders who will take the field tomorrow for the Peshawar side are Amad Butt and Umaid Asif. Umaid Asif picked up 8 wickets in the 2020 edition of the PSL. The right-arm pacer averaged 24.12 with the ball, and also gave away runs at an economy rate of 7.72 runs per over.

On the other hand, Amad Butt had a disastrous campaign last year with the ball. The 26-year-old picked up just 5 wickets last year, and gave away runs at an extremely high economy rate of 9.75. He would definitely be looking to improve his performances in the 6th edition of the PSL.

Bowlers (Wahab Riaz, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Mohammad Irfan)

Wahab Riaz
Wahab Riaz. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Zalmi side has two left-arm seamers who can be menacing on their day. Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Irfan have both played at the international level for Pakistan and will make life difficult for the batsmen up front. Wahab had a good campaign with the ball last year.

The skipper picked up 11 wickets and picked them at a strike rate of 19.50. On the other hand, the gigantic Mohammad Irfan was unimpressive last year. The tall left-arm seamer leaked runs, and could pick up just 4 wickets in the 2020 edition of the PSL.

The spinner’s slot in the lineup will be taken by Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman. The 19-year-old spinner has already managed to grab the cricketing world’s attention. He has clever variations up his sleeve and is someone who can flummox the batsman with subtle changes in pace.