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In the 18th match of the Pak T20 League 2021, Quetta Gladiators are up against Islamabad United at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday evening. 

Quetta Gladiators will be treating the second leg of the tournament as a fresh start and a chance to improve on their performance in the first leg. They lost 4 of their 5 matches and are placed at the bottom spot in the points table. Batter Tom Banton and fast bowler Dale Steyn are both unavailable to rejoin the team. West Indian superstar Andre Russell and Australian all-rounder Jack Wildermuth are expected to replace them in the side. The batting line-up of Quetta looks strong with Faf du Plessis, captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and Russell. Fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain will lead the bowling charge, along with Usman Shinwari and Zahid Mehmood.

Islamabad United resumed their campaign with a disappointing 5-wicket loss to Lahore Qalandars, which saw them fail to defend 16 in the final over of the match and suffer their second loss of the competition. They are placed 3rd in the points table with 3 wins from their 5 matches.

The performance of their batters was not up to the mark, with their highest scorer Faheem Ashraf scoring just 27 runs. The team will desperately be looking to improve on their batting in this game. The onus will be on the likes of Usman Khuwaja, Colin Munro and Rohail Nazir to score the bulk of the runs. In the bowling department, Hasan Ali needs more support from Mohammad Wasim and leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed. Faheem Ashraf will not feature in this match due to a hand injury and is likely to be replaced by Ali Khan here.

In 12 head-to-head matches, Quetta have a better record with 7 wins as compared to Islamabad’s 5 victories. In the recent past, the Gladiators’ have proved to be a more dominant force as they have won 4 out of the last 5 games against Islamabad. Nonetheless, expect a close battle when these two teams meet in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

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Match Details

  • Match: Quetta Gladiators vs. Islamabad United, Match 18
  • Venue: Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
  • Date & Time: Jun. 11, 2021, at 9:30 PM IST/8 PM Local

Probable Playing XI

Quetta Gladiators

Usman Khan, Faf du Plessis, Cameron Delport, Sarfaraz Ahmed ( C & WK), Azam Khan, Andre Russell, Mohammad Nawaz, Zahid Mehmood, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Shinwari, Jack Wildermuth

Islamabad United

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

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 a little two-paced. Combined with a large outfield, scoring will be a big challenge for any side. Spinners will get plenty of help during the game, while pacers will have to rely on their variations for wickets. The average score in the last five games played here has been 173 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 180 runs should be a competitive one here.

Top Fantasy Picks

Quetta Gladiators

  • Faf du Plessis is the most experienced and key player in the Gladiators line-up. He has been very consistent in the T20 format, making 320 runs in the Indian T20 League 2021 at an average of 64 and a strike rate of 145.45. His last four innings include scores of 50, 56, 50 and 95*.
  • Sarfaraz Ahmed is the top run scorer for Quetta Gladiators, with 185 runs at an average of 37 and a strike rate of 146.82. He made 54 in the last match against Islamabad and looks good to continue leading his side with the bat here.
  • Mohammad Hasnain has been good for the Gladiators in the tournament, picking up 6 wickets in five matches at an average of 26.16 and an economy rate of 8.33. He is in excellent form, taking 6 wickets in his last four T20Is, with best figures of 2 for 19.

Islamabad United

  • Usman Khawaja is an elegant stroke player and has scored 338 runs in the last edition of the Aus T20 League at a strike rate of 127.54. He got a start in the last game and made 18 off 17 balls before getting dismissed. He will look to play a big innings here.
  • Shadab Khan is a good all-round option for Islamabad United. He is good with the ball and can hit some clean shots with the bat. He bowled a decent spell of 1 for 23 in the last game and will look to play a more vital role with the bat coming up the order.  
  • Hasan Ali is the highest wicket taker for Islamabad United this season, with 8 wickets at an average of 14.5 and an economy rate of 5.8. He has been in excellent form with the ball, taking 11 wickets in his last five T20 games.

Howzat Dream Team

  • Wicketkeeper: S Ahmed
  • Batsmen: F du Plessis, C Munro, U Khwaja
  • All-rounders: A Russell, M Nawaz, S Khan, H Talat
  • Bowlers: M Hasnain, M Wasim, H Ali
  • Captain: S Ahmed/F du Plessis
  • Vice Captain: C Munro/H Ali

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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