Time: June 9, 9:30 PM IST
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Expect an even battle between the bat and ball. The pitch has every ingredient needed for an exciting T20. However, spinners who rely heavily on turn may be ineffective. There will be swing and extra bounce but very little turn on offer. Make sure you pick pacers who bowl in the powerplay as well as at the death.
Lahore: Fakhar Zaman, Sohail Akhtar (c), Zeeshan Ashraf/Calum Ferguson, Mohammad Hafeez, Ben Dunk (wk), Muhammad Zaid Alam, James Faulkner, Rashid Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Dilbar Hussain
Islamabad: Colin Munro, Usman Khawaja, Rohail Nazir (wk), Asif Ali, Shadab Khan (c), Faheem Ashraf, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Hasan Ali, Muhammad Musa, Fawad Ahmed/Ali Khan
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on recent performances, impact, and credit points.
Make sure you pick pacers who bowl in the powerplay as well as at the death.
Players to watch out for
Mohammad Hafeez averages a whopping 90.5 in a mere 4 matches. Although the remaining contests won’t be played at home, expect Hafeez to continue his stellar form: he knows the nook and cranny of the UAE grounds.
The league being shifted to the UAE is nothing but a blessing in disguise for Shaheen Afridi. He has already sniped up 9 wickets at 10.6, and now, will be bowling in conditions that are favourable to his gameplay.
All eyes will be on Fakhar Zaman. In his last 10 innings, he has scored 2 hundreds and as many fifties. In the league, he has blasted 189 runs in 4 games at a strike rate of 143.
In the list of top 10 wicket-takers, only Hasan Ali has managed to bowl under 6 RPO. All this while taking wickets at a strike rate of 16. The fact that he is more lethal at the death makes him a favourite pick in fantasy cricket.
Islamabad boast of a power-hitter in Colin Munro. He has played 286 T20s, scoring nearly 7,000 runs including 4 hundreds and 43 fifties. He wouldn’t mind the extra pace at Abu Dhabi. Probably opening with him will be Australia’s Usman Khawaja. In his last 10 innings, he has scored 3 fifties and a hundred.
Rashid Khan does not rely on the nature of the wicket and he anyway does not look to turn the ball. His strength is the wrong ‘un releasing from his quick-arm action. In the UAE edition of the Indian T20 League last year, he picked up 20 wickets at an impressive average of 17.2.
Both teams have won 3 of 4 matches. However, Lahore’s line-up seems to cover all the bases. The addition of Calum Ferguson and Rashid Khan will further bolster their team. Meanwhile, Islamabad’s bowling looks a little thin on both numbers and experience. Bowling against the likes of Fakhar and Hafeez will be an uphill task. The onus thus will be on Islamabad’s batsmen to dent the rampaging Lahore’s confidence.