Defending champions Quetta Gladiators will take on two-time champions Islamabad United in the opening match of Pakistan Super League 2020 on Thursday at Karachi’s National Stadium.
Led by former Pakistan captain and wicket-keeper batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed, Gladiators will look to kick off the fifth edition of the tournament with a bang.
Despite the fact that the new of teenage pace sensation, Naseem Shah, is out of at least two matches of the tournament, the Gladiators, with a host of international and local players, will be a force to be reckoned with this season.
With top run-scorer Shane Watson and his Australian counterpart Ben Cutting, along with England’s Jason Roy and fast bowlers Tymal Mills and Windies Keemo Paul, the Quetta-based franchise will want to start the tournament with a win.
Among the national players are batsmen Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Khurram Manzoor and Sarfaraz, and bowlers Sohail Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz.
Taking on the Gladiators will be two-time champions Islamabad United, led by leg-spinner Shadab Khan. Adding to the mix is South African pacer Dale Steyn who joins his Proteas team-mate Colin Ingram. Luke Ronchi, Colin Munro, Phil Salt and Dawid Malan make up the remaining international players for United.
Not to be left behind are the national superstars Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Muhammad Musa, Rumman Raees and Hussain Talat, who just might give United the edge to lift up a third PSL title this year.
The match between Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United starts at 7pm PST.
Quetta Gladiators: Mohammad Nawaz, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shane Watson, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Hasnain, Ahsan Ali, Naseem Shah, Jason Roy, Ben Cutting, Sohail Khan, Tymal Mills, Abdul Nasir, Arish Ali Khan, Azam Khan, Keemo Paul, Khurram Manzoor, Zahid Mehmood
Islamabad United: Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Asif Ali, Luke Ronchi, Hussain Talat, Amad Butt, Musa Khan, Rizwan Hussain, Dale Steyn, Colin Ingram, Colin Munro, Rumman Raees, Phil Salt, Zafar Gohar, Akif Javed, Ahmed Safi Abdullah, Saif Badar, Dawid Malan