Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators Match Prediction, PSL 2020
Defending champions Quetta Gladiators kick off the 2020 Pakistan Super League at Karachi’s National Stadium when they take on Islamabad United in the opening game of this season’s tournament. The match takes place on February 20.
Quetta Gladiators beat Peshawar Zalmi in last year’s final, with Shane Watson finishing the tournament as top run-scorer with 430 runs in 12 innings. The Australian returns this season alongside other big-hitters such as England’s Jason Roy, while they also have teenage star Naseem Shah in their squad.
Islamabad United, meanwhile, were beaten in the final eliminator play-off last season, ending their title defence just short of the final. The 2018 champions have retained key players such as Luke Ronchi and Faheem Ashraf for the coming season, however.
Both teams won the toss and fielded first in their most recent matches at Karachi’s National Stadium and they could both look to do the same at the start of this season.
A week of clear, sunny skies over Karachi will ensure the pitch is in good shape for the first game of the 2020 PSL, and conditions should be similarly warm and dry for the opening match.
The Karachi National Stadium is usually good for batting, particularly in white-ball cricket, and the hot, dry weather should ensure it plays to expectations.
It is the first game of the season for the defending champions and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has a big task on his shoulders. The expectations would be extremely high on part of their fans and they would be up against one of the strongest sides in the tournament. In the last season, they had defeated United in both their league games but it is a new season and those wins would count little. While they have a good squad to start with it will be interesting to see how these players gel in their first game. Ahmed will expect a good start to the season from his players.
The side is likely to go with the opening pair of Jason Roy and Shane Watson in the first game and it will be interesting to see how Watson plays after the poor run of form during the BPL. Umar Akmal, Ahsan Ali and Khurram Manzoor will need to play well in the middle. With Sarfaraz Ahmed and Ben Cutting towards the end of the innings they have got good batting resources going into this game. The side will need a good start with the new ball from Mohammad Hasnain and Tymal Mills. Sohail Khan will have to use all his experience in the game and the side would count on Fawad Ahmed and Cutting to bowl well in the middle overs for the side.
Shadab Khan who has taken over the captaincy of the side will look to put behind the disappointments of the last season. They had a very strong outfit yet they failed to do well as a unit. It is perhaps good for the side that they are playing against the defending champions in the first game of the season and this will let them meet fire with fire. The side has some of the best T20 players from around the world in the squad. Having lost both their games last year to the Gladiators they will look to turn that record this season.
The side will look for a good start from openers Luke Ronchi and Colin Munro. Both these players have enjoyed good success in this format of the game and shall look to do well in the game. Dawid Malan is enjoying great form in a recent tournament and strengthens the middle order for the side. With Asif Ali and Rizwan Hussain in the lower middle order, their batting looks strong going into this game. The side will look for a good start with the new ball from Ahmed Butt and Dale Steyn in the next game. Rumman Raees, Zafar Gohar and Shadab Khan will need to provide good support to the new ball bowlers going into this game.
Our Prediction for Quetta Gladiators vs Islamabad United
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It is the first game of the Pakistan Super League 2020 and defending champions Quetta Gladiators would be taking on Islamabad United at National Stadium, Karachi. It is expected to be a thriller as both the sides are blessed with young talent and seasoned T20 campaigners. It is the first game of the season and there would be pressure on both sides to start off well. It will be interesting to see how well the players are able to gel as a unit going into this game.
It is a close call to make but Islamabad United has a stronger batting line-up compared to Quetta Gladiators and this will make them favorites in this game.