Islamabad eye Quetta scalp on day four

Twice PSL champions have an upper hand in wins against Sarfaraz’s side

Islamabad eye Quetta scalp on day four PHOTO COURTESY: Twitter/@PSL

Mohammad Sami was a happy man after beating Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) fourth edition opening match, but a five-wicket defeat against Multan Sultans would have brought him back to earth.

The most successful franchise of the PSL is vying to become indomitable in the cash-rich domestic league of Pakistan with a third title in just four years, but they now have to face one of the most promising and always so-close-yet-so-far side of the PSL, the Quetta Gladiators.

Day four of the PSL promises more fun and entertainment when the two giants clash in the first match of the day, before all teams go on a two-day break, away from on-field action in Dubai and on the next destination Sharjah.

Islamabad will be cautious when they take the field against Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Gladiators as the latter received a day’s break before the match, while the former faced Multan just 24 hours ago.

On paper, Luke Ronchi’s sublime batting form (carried forward from PSL3), and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf’s display with both bat and ball make Islamabad look like a side to beat.

However, Quetta will not be an easy opponent courtesy the presence of Australia all-rounder Shane Watson in their ranks.

Meanwhile, with the bat, captain Sarfaraz and a resurgent Umar Akmal will be on the lookout for two consecutive wins in as many matches.

Lahore plan fightback

Bad results come from bad performances, but Lahore, on their best day even, are unable to add to their win tally.

The opening match of season four proved just that.

Fakhar Zaman and Sohail Akhtar gave them a perfect start, but after their departure, everything went wrong for the Qalandars.

After such misery, they were pitted against one of the most important competitors in the tournament, the Karachi Kings. Talk about pressure!

However, if anything can be done by Lahore to change their PSL fortunes, it is maybe that they change their name, because otherwise, they’ve tried all but failed every time.

But things don’t look to gloomy still because a lot of competition is still left and Lahore will get their fair share of chances to try and not end up at the last spot in the rankings again (Maybe it is their strategy? They get to pick first in all drafts after finishing last, the reason AB de Villiers is playing for them, if that, very smart Rana sahab).

Their third assignment is, meanwhile, against second season’s winners Peshawar Zalmi, who also have a defeat in their account after Quetta schooled them on Friday.

Two teams, deprived in confidence, in need of an uplifting, always provide the best entertainment.