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by Alastair Symondson Thursday 14 February 2019
Both teams were very close in the last year's tournament as Peshawar Zalmi finished third on the points table after the league stage while Gladiators were at the fourth spot.
Apart from retaining captain Daren Sammy, the team has decided to retain Wahab Riaz and Kamran Akmal both of whom were the stars for the side in the last season. While Kamran Akmal was the second highest run-scorer of the tournament, Wahab Riaz picked 18 wickets and was the second highest wicket-taker.
Akmal has found some form in the National T20 Cup where he has been minting consistent performances. Riaz is also coming on the back of some top form for Comilla Victorians in the Bangladesh Premier League. Apart from the two, Hasan Ali, Kieron Pollard and Misbah Ul Haq will also be a great cog in the team's wheel.
Quetta Gladiators have decided to retain Sunil Narine, Shane Watson, Rilee Rossouw, Anwar Ali, Umar Akmal, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Nawaz and Sarfraz Ahmed. They also have a local big hitting talent in Anwar Ali.
Rilee Rossouw ended as the highest run-scorer in the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League while Sohail Tanvir has also been performing well recently. All in all, they have picked a very balanced squad and are one of the contenders.
Let's have a look at the probable playing XI of both teams.
Peshawar Zalmi- Kamran Akmal, Andre Fletcher, Misbah Ul Haq, Sohaib Maqsood, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Umar Amin, Khalid Usman, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Ibtisam Sheikh
Quetta Gladiators- Sarfraz Ahmed, Shane Watson, Sunil Narine, Rilee Rossouw, Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Sohail Tanvir, Harry Gurney, Mohammad Asghar
Who will win? – Peshawar Zalmi
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) –Kamran Akmal (Peshawar Zalmi), Rilee Rossouw (Quetta Gladiators)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Hasan Ali (Peshawar Zalmi), Sohail Tanvir (Quetta Gladiators)
Most Sixes – Kamran Akmal (Peshawar Zalmi), Rilee Rossouw (Quetta Gladiators)
Team Scores Batting First – Peshawar Zalmi 165+, Quetta Gladiators 150+
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
©Cricket World 2019