Islamabad United will lock horns with Peshawar Zalmi in the first Eliminator of the Pakistan Super League on Thursday.
The Sherus were exceptional in the group stages of PSL 6 but fell well short of expectations in the play-offs.
They will be looking to do well this year in the play-offs after a difficult run in the round-robin – they finished fourth with just eight points after three successive defeats.
The 2018 champions lost against Peshawar Zalmi by ten runs before Lahore Qalandars also claimed victory against them by 66 runs.
While United’s latest defeat came on Sunday against Multan Sultans, who won by six wickets.
By contrast, Peshawar have been spectacular in their recent matches, reeling off four wins in a row.
Since losing two consecutive matches against the Sultans, the Yellow Storm defeated Karachi Kings, Quetta Gladiators, Islamabad and Lahore.
They secured a third-place finish in the points table after winning six of their 10 PSL 7 matches.
Islamabad United vs Peshawar Zalmi Probable Starting XIs
Islamabad skipper Shadab Khan is likely to be involved on Thursday as he has recovered from the groin injury. Alex Hales has also returned to the PSL after his sudden withdrawal from the competition.
Rehmanullah Gulbaz will be missing as he has left the team due to national commitments. The availability of Colin Munro is also uncertain as he is still suffering from fitness issues.
Probable Starting XI: Alex Hales, Danish Aziz, Liam Dawson, Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Waqas Maqsood, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Marchant de Lange, Zahir Khan.
Sohail Khan, Ben Cutting and Usman Qadir will be missing on Thursday as they have tested positive for COVID-19. Liam Livingstone, Sherfane Rutherford and TK Cadmore are also unavailable.
Probable Starting XI: Hazratullah Zazai, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Harris, Shoaib Malik, Hussain Talat, Haider Ali, Wahab Riaz, Amad Butt, Khalid Usman, Mohammad Umar, Arshad Iqbal.
Islamabad United vs Peshawar Zalmi Prediction
Both teams have quality players in their ranks who can take the game away from the opposition.
However, considering the recent form of the two sides, Peshawar are fancied to win on Thursday.
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