After the completion of 30 league matches, it is time for the business end of the tournament. Islamabad United and Multan Sultans will be up against each other in the first qualifier of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The winner will qualify for the final while the loser will have another bite at the cherry.
The first qualifier match is expected to see intense competition between the top two teams. Both sides met on Saturday in the last league match where both teams tested their bench strengths. There was no intensity in approach in that game as it did not matter much for either side. It was just a warm-up show before Monday’s qualifier. Both teams are expected to offer more on Monday.
Usman Khawaja, Colin Munro, Asif Ali, and Iftikhar Ahmed are in good form. In addition to this, captain Shadab Khan and allrounder Hussain Talat have also found their groove in the recent games. Hasan Ali, Akif Javed, Mohammad Wasim Junior, and Australian leggie complete the bowling line up and have helped United win several games so far.
In the league stage, Islamabad defeated Multan Sultans in both matches and will start the game as favourites. On the other hand, Multan Sultans have a different story. After having won just one game from the initial five outings in Karachi, Rizwan-led side did a marvelous job in the Abu Dhabi leg to stay in contention. They won the opening four matches to ensure their playoff spot. Overall Sultans are high on confidence.
Multan Sultans captain Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, and Sohaib Maqsood are well known for their dangerous batting, and they can take away the game from the opposition.
Fast bowler Shahnawaz Dahani surprised everyone with his brilliant spell in league stages and is the highest wicket-taker in the tournament. Islamabad United players will have a big challenge on their hands as bowlers like Blessing Muzarabani and Sohail Tanvir and leading spinners like Imran Tahir are also part of Multan Sultans.
Shadab Khan (c), Ahmed Saifi Abdullah, Ali Khan, Akif Javed, Asif Ali, Brandon King, Colin Munro, Fawad Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Mohammad Akhlaq, Musa Khan, Rohail Nazir, Umar Amin, Usman Khawaja, Zafar Gohar and Zeeshan ZameerMultan Sultan
Mohammad Rizwan (c), Asif Afridi, Hammad Azam, Imran Tahir, Imran Khan Snr, Johnson Charles, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Umar, Blessing Muzarabani, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Rilee Rossouw, Shahnawaz Dhani, Shan Masood, Shimron Hetmyer (partially available), Sohaib Maqsood, Sohaibullah, Sohail Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Usman Qadir, and Muhammad Waseem