Match: Islamabad United vs. Quetta Gladiators, Pakistan Super League, Match 1
Venue: National Stadium, Karachi, Pakistan
Date: February 20, 2020, 7.30 PM IST
The PSL 2020 kick-starts on 20 February 2020 and India’s most trusted fantasy cricket app/website Howzat is holding a fantasy cricket league based on the PSL. If you are a cricket lover, here are some fantasy cricket tips that will help you select the best fantasy cricket team, play fantasy league opener smartly and win cash.
Islamabad United vs. Quetta Gladiators Match Prediction
Preview: Defending champions Quetta Gladiators will kick-start their Pakistan Super League campaign in 2020 against Islamabad United at Karachi’s National Stadium. The Gladiators defeated Peshawar Zalmi in the final in 2019. Australian all-rounder S. Watson finished the edition as the highest run-scorer with 430 runs in 12 matches. He will turn out for the Gladiators once again this season and will be joined by big hitter J. Roy of England, who too is in great form.
Islamabad United, on the other hand, were beaten in the final eliminator play-off last year. The champions of the 2018 season have retained players like F. Ashraf and L. Ronchi and will be eager to get their hands on the trophy this time around.
Toss: Both sides will be aiming to win the toss and field first in the opener. With a fresh wicket expected for the tournament, the team that bats first might have a tough time assessing how the wicket plays and, thus, chasing will be the ideal choice.
Weather and pitch conditions: The last week in Karachi has seen clear and sunny skies, which will ensure that the pitch is in good shape. The track here is good for batting in the shortest format, and the dry weather should ensure that it produces another high-scoring game.
Islamabad United Team News and Probable Playing 11
Though United have retained their core groups like Shadab Khan, F. Ashraf, L. Ronchi and Asif A. from last year, they have also signed some big names for the 2020 season. D. Steyn, C. Ingram and C. Munro will all arrive to play the opener, while D. Malan has been signed to replace South Africa’s Rassie van Der Dussen, who will not be available for the season.
Probable playing 11: L. Ronchi (wk), C. Munro, D. Malan, R. Hussain, Asif A., H. Talat, F. Ashraf, Shadab Khan (c), D. Steyn, R. Raees, M. Musa
Fantasy cricket game key players: L. Ronchi was the highest run-scorer for the side when the United won the title in 2018, and the big-hitter will be the key at the top of the order yet again. He has a strike rate of 153.31 in T20 cricket, which is evidence of his skills. Asif A. can be yet another game-changer down the order. He proved his big-hitting abilities by scoring unbeaten knocks of 55 and 39 down the order for Dhaka Platoon in the Bangladesh Premier League. The Pakistani has a T20 strike rate of over 149, and will be the key figure in the batting unit. Shadab Khan has a wicket each in his last two T20Is for Pakistan against Bangladesh and continued his form in the BPL as well. He has scalped ten wickets in his last seven T20 matches and can strike the ball a long way in the death overs as well.
Quetta Gladiators Team News and Probable Playing 11
Fawad A., B. Cutting and J. Roy are the new players for Quetta Gladiators in the PSL 2020, with the English opener flying directly from his international commitments in South Africa to play the tournament. Keemo Paul will be unavailable due to his duties with his national team, the West Indies, which means that he has been replaced by Zahid Mahmood for the first few games.
Probable playing 11: S. Watson, J. Roy, A. Shehzad, Ahsan-Ali, U. Akmal, Sarfaraz A. (c, wk), M. Nawaz, T. Mills, M. Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Fawad A.
Fantasy cricket game key players: S. Watson was in fine form at the top of the order in PSL 2019, smashing 430 runs in 12 games to help the team to the trophy. Fawad A. is an under-rated player in the format, but he has displayed some good form even at the age of 38. He was in good form for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League, and he now has more than 100 wickets in T20s. Naseem Shah burst into the cricket scene after picking up a five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka, which was followed by a hat-trick against Bangladesh. He is only 17 years of age and could be eyeing a breakthrough season.
Suggested Howzat Fantasy Team for QG vs. IU
Wicket-keeper: L. Ronchi was Islamabad United’s key player in 2018, and will be expected to lead the charge with the bat again this season. As Gladiators’ Sarfaraz A. bats lower down the order, L. Ronchi, who bats at the top, is the preferred fantasy game pick.
Batsmen: J. Roy arrives in the competition on the back of some good form and is a worthy pick at 9.5 credits. Fellow English batsman D. Malan had a frustrating tour of South Africa, but had a stellar series against New Zealand last year and will have a point to prove. Asif A., at 8.5 credits, helps save credits and proves to be a utility pick as well due to his abilities down the order.
All-rounders: F. Ashraf and M. Nawaz are 9 credits each, with the former being a key wicket-taker. S. Watson is 10 credits, but he was the key for Gladiators last season and will prove to be valuable if he delivers yet again.
Bowlers: Four bowling slots are available, of which Shadab Khan and Fawad A. are must-haves. Ahmed has been in good form of late, while M. Hasnain and the experienced T. Mills offer balance to the team.
Captain and Vice-Captain: S. Watson was the key at the top last year, but it is J. Roy who arrives into the PSL 2020 in better form. Fawad A. is a top wicket-taker as well, and any two of the three could be good choices for the captain and the vice-captain.
NOTE: The suggested Howzat fantasy team is just a suggestion. You can choose your own dream team by using your knowledge of cricket and trusting your gut instinct.