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In the 15th match of the Pak T20 League 2021, Islamabad United are up against Lahore Qalandars at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday evening. 

After the tournament was stopped midway because of the rising Covid-19 cases in Pakistan, the second leg of the tournament will kick-start now. Lahore Qalandars have been in decent form this season and are currently 4th in the league table, with 3 wins to their name. On the other hand, Islamabad United are placed 3rd at the moment with the same number of wins.

Lahore will be banking on the experienced trio of Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez and Ben Dunk to share most of the burden in batting. A big victory over defending champions Karachi in their last match will give the players confidence heading into resumption. Shakib Al Hasan pulled out of the competition, but the availability of star spin-bowler Rashid Khan for the remainder of the tournament will be a huge boost for Sohail Akhtar’s side. The bowling department is well stocked with the searing pace of fast bowlers Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf. 

Islamabad have been hit hard by overseas withdrawals due to the rescheduling of the tournament with all three of their England-based players not returning to the side, including Alex Hales, opening batsman Phil Salt and all-rounder Lewis Gregory. Australian Usman Khawaja will come into the side and look to provide support to the bowling attack, which will be led by Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf. Wicketkeeper Rohail Nazir, Hussain Talat and Iftikhar Ahmed will have the task of making quick-fire runs in the later stages of the innings. Zafar Gohar and Shadab Khan are the two spinners in the playing XI.

This will be an intriguing contest to resume the league in the UAE as both sides have identical records and stand a chance to go to the top of the points table with a win here. Islamabad have a good record against Lahore, winning 8 of the last 10 matches. Nonetheless, expect a thrilling battle in the desert of Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

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Match Details

  • Match: Lahore Qalandars vs. Islamabad United, Match 15
  • Venue: Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
  • Date & Time: Jun. 9, 2021, at 9:30 PM IST

Probable Playing XI

Lahore Qalandars

Fakhar Zaman, Sohail Akhtar (C), Muhammad Faizan, Mohammad Hafeez, Ben Dunk (WK), Tim David, James Faulkner, Rashid Khan, Haris Rauf, Ahmed Daniyal, Shaheen Afridi

Islamabad United

Usman Khuwaja, Colin Munro, Rohail Nazir (WK), Shadab Khan (C), Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim, Fawad Ahmed

Pitch & Weather Report

The weather is expected to be clear in Abu Dhabi during the match. The temperature will be around 33 degrees during the game.

The pitch at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium is expected to assist pacers with the new ball. The surface has good pace and bounce on offer and the batsmen will have to be careful with their shot selection. Moreover, the large boundaries mean timing will be of utmost importance here. Spinners will get more help in the first innings. The average score in the last five games played here this season has been 179 runs.

The chasing teams have lost 4 of the last 5 T20 matches played at this venue. Expect the captain winning the toss to opt to bat first. A score of around 190 runs should be a competitive one here.

Top Fantasy Picks

Lahore Qalandars

  • Fakhar Zaman is the top run scorer for Lahore Qalandars, with 189 runs at an average of 63 and a strike rate of 143.18. He has been in good form in the recent matches against South Africa and Zimbabwe and will look to dominate from the start of the innings. 
  • Mohammad Hafeez is the second-highest run scorer for Lahore, with 181 runs at an average of 90.5 and a strike rate of 175.72. He has not made a half century in any of his last six T20 innings coming into this game and will look to correct that here.  
  • Rashid Khan is a match-winner in this format of the game. He performed decently in the recent matches of the Indian T20 League, picking up 10 wickets at an average of 17.2 and an economy rate of 6.14. He will look to make his return with a big spell in this match.

Islamabad United

  • Colin Munro will be a key batsman at the top of the order in the absence of Alex Hales, who was the top run scorer for Islamabad United this season. He scored 443 runs in 15 innings for Perth in the last season of the Aus T20 League and will look to provide a solid start to the innings here. 
  • Faheem Ashraf is a good all-round option for Islamabad United. He is good with the ball and can hit some clean shots in the final overs of the innings if required. He has best figures of 3 for 17 in his last four T20 games. 
  • Hasan Ali is the highest wicket taker for Islamabad United this season, with 6 wickets at an average of 14.83 and an economy rate of 5.56. He has been brilliant with the ball in recent matches, taking 22 wickets in his last five games.

Howzat Dream Team

  • Wicketkeeper: Z Ashraf
  • Batsmen: F Zaman, C Munro, U Khwaja
  • All-rounders: M Hafeez, J Faulkner, F Ashraf, S Khan
  • Bowlers: R Khan, A Daniyal, H Ali
  • Captain: F Zaman/R Khan
  • Vice Captain: C Munro/S Khan

NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy 11, and play fantasy cricket matches. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.

Get fantasy cricket tips on your favorite fantasy sports app and select your own team, Howzat!

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