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There is absolutely nothing to separate these two teams on the basis of head-to-head records. Both sides have won seven of the fourteen occasions where Islamabad and Quetta have crossed paths. However, owing to their current run of form, Islamabad United will be the favourites to win this match.
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Islamabad United: Paul Stirling, Alex Hales, Colin Munro, Shadab Khan (c), Azam Khan (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz/Asif Ali, Mubasir Khan, Faheem Ashraf/Danish Aziz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Hasan Ali, Waqas Maqsood
Quetta Gladiators: Ahsan Ali, Jason Roy, James Vince, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Will Smeed/Iftikhar Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Nawaz, Sohail Tanvir/Luke Wood, James Faulkner, Naseem Shah, Ghulam Mudassar
Islamabad United have developed a knack for palindromes in the ongoing season of the Pakistan Super League, that is, they have followed a win-loss-win sequence so far in the competition.
Shadab Khan’s team started their campaign with a comprehensive nine-wicket triumph against Peshawar Zalmi, but were unable to sustain the momentum and ended up suffering a 20-run defeat in their next match against Multan Sultans. The 2017 champions then made a good comeback by beating Quetta Gladiators by 43 runs, but once again suffered a defeat in the game after, against Lahore Qalandars. Islamabad are coming into this match on the back of a 42-run win against Karachi Kings.
Quetta Gladiators, last season’s wooden-spoon awardees, have shown some signs of improvement but they still are head and shoulders away from the likes of Multan Sultans. They started their season with a defeat against Peshawar Zalmi, but won their second match against Karachi Kings. Two consecutive defeats against Multan Sultans and Islamabad United derailed them, but Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men bounced back in fashion, handing Lahore Qalandars a 7-wicket defeat.
Islamabad United have found themselves a few unlikely heroes, but some of Pakistan’s most reliable T20 players in Asif Ali and Faheem Ashraf have failed to live up to the expectations. Hard-hitting batter Asif Ali scored only 10 runs in the last match against Karachi Kings and could be replaced by the Afghan batting sensation Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Faheem Ashraf could also get the axe in this match, with Danish Aziz being a readymade replacement option. Aziz is a left-arm orthodox spinner who can contribute with the bat as well.
Similarly, we can expect a few changes in the Quetta Gladiators’ playing XI as well. They have confirmed that English youngster Will Smeed, who played an outstanding knock of 97 runs in the match against Peshawar Zalmi, has been roped in the squad permanently as Daniel Lawrence’s replacement. He could replace an out of form Iftikhar Ahmed, while in the bowling contingent, veteran pacer Sohail Tanvir can take up Luke Wood’s place.
Jason Roy: English batter Jason Roy has been in fantastic touch off-late and it took him only match to establish a reputation for himself in the Pakistan Super League. Chasing a big total of 204 in the last match against Lahore Qalandars, Roy went absolutely ballistics and ended up scoring 116 runs from only 57 deliveries, which included 11 fours and eight gigantic sixes as well. His knock helped Quetta chase the total down with three deliveries to spare.
Shadab Khan: Shadab Khan the bowler, Shadab Khan the batter and Shadab Khan the skipper – all three traits of the 360° T20 package has been working wonders for Islamabad United in synchronization, as the 23-year-old is doing a fantastic job in every single department of the game. He has picked up 14 wickets in his five matches at an economy rate of six runs per over, which is the lowest by any bowler from his team. Besides that, Khan has also scored 186 runs in four innings and is Islamabad’s second-highest run-getter after Irishman Paul Stirling. He has scored a couple of half-centuries – against Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans and has also picked up a five-wicket haul against Quetta Gladiators.
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|Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators, Match 18 – Information|
|Teams||Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators|
|Location||Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore|
|Time||Saturday, 12th February, 8 PM IST/2:30 PM GMT|
|How to watch||A Sports (Pakistan), Sony Sports Network (India), Flow Sports (Caribbean), Sky Sports (United Kingdom), Fox Sports (Australia)|
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