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In the 26th match of the Pak T20 League 2021, Peshawar Zalmi are up against Islamabad United at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday evening. 

Islamabad United delivered a superb batting performance to beat Karachi comprehensively by eight wickets in their last game. With this being the third consecutive win, they have managed to top the points table and qualify for the playoffs stage. The likes of Colin Munro, Asif Ali, and Iftikhar Ahmed have been excellent with the bat in the last few games. Although they are missing Faheem Ashraf, Islamabad have made up for it with Hasan Ali leading the bowling attack alongside Akif Javed and Mohammad Wasim. A win here will seal a top-two finish for the team.

On the other hand, Peshawar Zalmi delivered a perfect performance to beat Karachi Kings by 6 wickets in their last game. With this result, Zalmi moved to the second spot on the points table with 10 points. Skipper Wahab Riaz and leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed, playing his first game, made early inroads and claimed 3 wickets apiece to demolish Karachi’s star-studded batting lineup. Sameen Gul also bowled well and claimed 2 wickets. Chasing a paltry total, Hazratullah Zazai smashed a quick-fire half-century with the help of eight fours and four sixes. Zalmi completed the chase in only the 11th over of the innings.

With both teams in form and looking evenly matched on paper, expect a close battle to start the doubleheader Thursday in Abu Dhabi.

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Match Details

  • Match: Peshawar Zalmi vs. Islamabad United, Match 26
  • Venue: Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
  • Date & Time: Jun. 17, 2021, at 6:30 PM IST/5 PM Local

Probable Playing XI

Peshawar Zalmi

Kamran Akmal (WK), Hazratullah Zazai, Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, Sherfane Rutherford, Rovman Powell, Wahab Riaz (C), Umaid Asif, Sameen Gul, Mohammad Irfan, Abrar Ahmed

Islamabad United

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

Pitch & Weather Report

The weather is expected to be clear in Abu Dhabi during the match. The temperature will be around 36 degrees during the game.

The pitch at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium is now producing high scoring games. Shot selection for the batters will be crucial, given the large outfield. Pacers should get some swing and bounce early on, while spinners should get the ball to turn and grip before the dew sets in. The average first-innings score in the games played here this season has been 161 runs.

Chasing seems to be the trend in the tournament. With the pitch not likely to change much during the game, expect the captain winning the toss to opt to field first. A score of around 190 runs should be a competitive one here.

Top Fantasy Picks

Peshawar Zalmi

  • Hazratullah Zazai is a powerful striker of the white ball and has a strike rate of 151.32 in T20 cricket. Playing his debut match in the league, he delivered a match-winning effort and scored 63 off just 26 balls. He will be dangerous at the top of the order for the Islamabad bowlers.
  • Sherfane Rutherford is the top run scorer for Peshawar Zalmi with 212 runs at an average of 35.33 and a strike rate of 139.47. He has played useful cameos in the middle-order with a half-century to his name in the last 4 games. Expect him to play a quick-fire innings here.  
  • Wahab Riaz is the joint highest wicket taker this season, having picked up 14 wickets while bowling at an average of 19.28 and an economy rate of 8.7. He bowled his second best spell of the season, with 3 for 34 in his 4 overs.

Islamabad United

  • Colin Munro is the top run scorer for Islamabad United, with 193 runs at an average of 96.50 and a strike rate of 175.45. He has already played two match-winning knocks in his last 4 games, with the top score of 90*. Expect him to score big runs here.
  • Iftikhar Ahmed was the Player of the Match against Karachi, scoring an unbeaten 71 runs from just 39 balls with the help of 5 fours and 5 sixes. Overall, he has made 189 runs in 6 innings at an average of 47.25 and a strike rate of 130.34.
  • Hasan Ali has been the highest wicket taker for Islamabad United this season, with 11 wickets in 7 matches at an average of 15.14 and an economy rate of 6.1. He has taken 5 wickets in his 3 last matches with the best figures of 2 for 24 against Quetta.

Howzat Dream Team

  • Wicketkeeper: K Akmal
  • Batsmen: C Munro, H Zazai, S Rutherford
  • All-rounders: I Ahmed, S Khan 
  • Bowlers: H Ali, M Wasim, M Irfan, W Riaz, S Gul
  • Captain: W Riaz/S Rutherford
  • Vice Captain: C Munro/I Ahmed

NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can make your match prediction 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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