Get ready for a showdown like no other!
It’s time for the Eliminator 1 match of the Pakistan Super League 2023, as Islamabad United will face off against Peshawar Zalmi at the magnificent Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan.
It’s a do or die match as one team will be eliminated from the tournament.
Peshawar Zalmi, with 5 wins and 5 losses, is placed at the 4th spot in the points table.
They have a lot to prove in this match and will come out all guns blazing.
Islamabad United, on the other hand, has had a slightly better run in the league, with 6 wins and 4 losses and is placed at the 3rd spot in the points table.
These two teams have faced each other twice in this season, with one victory each.
The first match was won by Islamabad United by six wickets, but Peshawar Zalmi was quick to take revenge and won the second match by 13 runs. The stakes are high, and both teams will leave no stone unturned to clinch the victory.
The skipper of Peshawar Zalmi, Babar Azam, was absent in their last league game due to illness. However, he is expected to return to the playing XI in the Eliminator 1, which is a big boost for his team.
When it comes to head-to-head, both teams have an equal number of wins against each other with 10 wins each.
Peshawar Zalmi’s batting order has been quite aggressive and posted good scores.
Babar, with 416 runs to his credit has been the top run-getter, with one hundred and four fifties in the competition.
Other notable batters include Tom Kohlmore scoring 309 runs with a strike rate of 172, Rovman Powell – 189 runs with a strike rate of 170, Saim Ayub – 309 runs at a strike rate of 168 and Mohammad Haris – 231 runs with with a strike rate of 198.
Wahab Riaz has been their best bowler, picking up 9 wickets while bowling at an average of 35 and an economy rate of 9.20.
Colin Munro has been the top run-scorer for Islamabad United with 294 runs, followed by Azam Khan, who has scored 236 runs.
Fazalhaq Farooqi has been their best bowler, picking up 10 wickets while bowling at an average of 15 and an economy rate of 7.93.
Last match form
Batting first, Peshawar put up a solid total of 179 runs on the board for the loss of just 8 wickets.
Mohammad Haris was in prime form for Peshawar hitting 79 runs from just 39 deliveries with 5 sixes and 7 fours.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored 41 runs from 25 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes to help the rampaging Haris.
Khurram Shahzad was the best bowler for Peshawar picking up 3 wickets for 13 runs.
In reply, Islamabad United could muster 166 all out in 19.4 overs to go down by 13 runs.
Hasan Ali was the best bowler for Islamabad United picking up 3 wickets for 39 runs.
Pitch and weather
The pitch at the Gaddafi Stadium is batting-friendly, with little help for bowlers. However, given recent totals, fans can expect a high-scoring match on Thursday.
Chasing shouldn’t be the preferred option for teams as Lahore’s pitch hasn’t been kind to the team batting second. A fairly high-scoring match seems to be on the cards.
With no chance of rain and temperatures around 23-degree Celsius mark, fans can expect a thrilling match.
Islamabad United Playing XI
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Alex Hales, Colin Munro, Hassan Nawaz, Sohaib Maqsood, Shadab Khan (c), Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Hasan Ali, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Peshawar Zalmi Playing XI
Saim Ayub, Mohammad Haris, Tom Kohler-Cadmore (c), Haseebullah Khan (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, James Neesham, Aamer Jamal, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Khurram Shahzad, Salman Irshad, Sufiyan Muqeem
Who will win
We got our last cricket prediction spot on by predicting that Multan will beat Lahore.
And this is what our experts feel regarding today’s match.
We are tipping the combo of Faheem Ashraf and Asif Ali to fire. If Shadab or Munro can support them, we expect Islamabad to post a big score of 180+.
Though Babar is returning to the Peshawar squad, Islamabad’s fearsome pace battery has the potential to dismantle the Zalmis.
We expect Babar to get out cheaply and Bhanuka Rajapaksa to shine, amongst the Peshawar batters.
Our prediction – Islamabad will win.