Quetta Gladiators take on Covid-hit Peshawar Zalmi tonight

The past encounters have been quite fiery between the two and their clash has also become a kind of rivalry in HBL PSL

Quetta Gladiators take on Covid-hit Peshawar Zalmi tonight PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Quetta Gladiators will take on Peshawar Zalmi tonight in the second match of HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) season seven at the National Stadium in Karachi.

Gladiators will be led by Sarfaraz Ahmed while veteran Shoaib Malik will take the captaincy duties of Peshawar Zalmi as Wahab Riaz has been ruled out of the match after testing positive for Covid-19.

Zalmi have been most impacted by Covid-19 early in the tournament as Kamran Akmal and Afghanistan's Hazratullah Zazai is also not available. Haider Ali and Arshad Iqbal have recovered and have joined the franchise.

The past encounters have been quite fiery between the two and their clash has also become a kind of rivalry in HBL PSL. Both teams have won eight times in the 16 encounters held.

Quetta Gladiators

Gladiators were poor in the last two seasons and will look to salvage pride in HBL PSL 7. In last season, they lost eight out of 10 matches and finished last with four points.

They are also without star all-rounder Shahid Afridi, who is Covid-19 positive and won't be part of the side for the atleast four matches.

Gladiators are without Jason Roy and James Vince for the initial few matches due to commitments with England side but they will hugely depend on Ben Duckett, who is coming after an encouraging BBL campaign with Brisbane Heat. He registered 302 runs in 12 innings 

In the middle-overs, Sarfaraz Ahmed would have a huge role alongside Iftikhar Ahmed. They have also picked Umar Akmal who will look to get into the good books of Pakistan cricket.

Gladiators' pace attack look potent having the likes of young guns Naseem Shah and Mohammad Hasnain while Sohail Tanvir will lead the bowlers. Mohammad Nawaz will have a huge part to play among spinners.

Squad: James Vince, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Jason Roy, James Faulkner, Umar Akmal, Sohail Tanvir, Ben Duckett, Khurram Shehzad, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Muhammad Ashar Qureshi, Noor Ahmad, Ahsan Ali, Luke Wood, Ghulam Mudassar, Dan Lawrence

Partial replacements: Will Smeed (James Vince), Ali Imran (Noor Ahmad), Shimron Hetmyer (Jason Roy)

Peshawar Zalmi

Zalmi will be without usual firepowers for few matches and the role of Shoaib Malik will be pivotal in the team's success. Meanwhile, Haider Ali, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Sherfane Rutherford will fill the middle-order and look to replicate last year's performances.

As Wahab Riaz won't be available, the onus will be on young pacers to deliver. Arshad Iqbal, Sameen Gul, Sirajuddin are likely to fill the pacers' slot. Leg-spinner Usman Qadir is also in the ranks and they will highly depend on him in middle-overs.

Hussain Talat and Ben Cutting will fill the all-rounders' slot.

Squad: Wahab Riaz, Liam Livingstone, Shoaib Malik, Sherfane Rutherford, Haider Ali, Saqib Mahmood, Hussain Talat, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Hazratullah Zazai, Usman Qadir, Salman Irshad, Arshad Iqbal, Sameen Gul, Kamran Akmal, Sirajuddin, Mohammad Amir Khan, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Umer, Sohail Khan 

Partial replacements: Pat Brown (Liam Livingstone), Matt Parkinson (Saqib Mahmood), Imam-ul-Haq (Kamran Akmal, Covid-19), Amad Butt (Arshad Iqbal, Covid-19)