Peshawar Zalmi v Quetta Gladiators
Saturday 12 June, 14:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Peshawar Zalmi suffered a disappointing defeat by Lahore Qalandars in their first match since resumption, going down by ten runs.
On the face of it, that sounds harsh. But Zalmi allowed Qalandars to recover from 25 for four. Much of the hard work was done and they really should have been able to turn the screw to finish the job.
Why didn’t they? Well, Aussie Tim David batted superbly but skipper Wahab Riaz chose the wrong spinner. Shoaib Malik bowled one over for eight runs, Fabian Allen three for 36. And that was the game.
In the chase, they were never really in it despite Shoaib’s best efforts with a fine 73. Allen completed a miserable display with a two-ball duck while fellow West Indian Rovman Powell also recorded a duck.
Possible XI Kamran Akmal, Haider Ali, Shoaib, Miller, Powell, Rutherford, Allen, Wahab, Umaid, Imran, Irfan
Despite the postponement, venue change and overhaul of playing staff it was the same old Quetta against Islamabad United in their first outing. They were thrashed out of sight, losing by ten wickets with ten overs to spare.
It means that qualification is surely beyond them. They would have to win all four of their remaining games. And with Andre Russell suffering a blow to the head and requiring a concussion sub, they will not be at full-strength in a must-win contest.
Quetta could manage only 133 batting first yet it was surprising to see a line-up boasting the potency of Muhammad Hasnain, skill of Jack Weatherald and guile of Mohammad Nawaz to be punished so.
Russell’s place in-game went to Naseem Shah but whether they pick the young pacer on his own merit remains to be seen. Cameron Delport is another option if they’re worried about batting power while Zahir Khan, the Afghan left-arm wrist spinner, is a possible pick.
Possible XI Usman Khan, Du Plessis, Weatherald, Sarfaraz, Azam, Nawaz, Wildermuth, Shahzad, Hasnain, Mahmood, Naseem
Four games in and punters could be forgiven for feeling a little confused by the pitch. We’ve had 170 busted twice and under 150 has copped twice. Islamabad’s easy win could be put down to the impact of dew but we’d be surprised. A wet ball should be expected in both innings with the later matches. If Zalmi bat first, remember they were second on batting economy before the break, it could be worth going over 160 on the innings runs with Quetta scarred.
Keep eye on Zalmi in-play
An early show has Zalmi 1.758/11. We would expect Quetta to settle at around the 2.255/4 mark. Would we be tempted at the latter price? Probably not.
That sounds quite cowardly. And probably an overreaction to that one loss. But we’re concerned Quetta could check out quite quickly given bubble life and the constraints of their league position.
With games coming thick and fast, it just seems like a wasted bet. If this, or if that. A shrewder move might be to hang on for Zalmi’s odds to drift and then have a dabble.
Haider Ali makes the top five most reliable top-bat wagers in PSL. We’re surprised to see Sportsbook go as big as 7/2 considering he opened the batting for Zalmi. Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik (who also makes the top five by the way) and Imam-ul-Haq are all shorter. Best of all, Haider gives us a 2.8% edge on win rate versus price.
We’re also going to keep faith with Muhammad Hasnain for top Quetta bowler. He is in the top five bowlers list. Usman Shinwari, the market favourite, is not at 5/2. We think Hasnain should be that price rather than the 11/4.
For Quetta, we expect Faf Du Plessis to come good at some stage. Sportsbook go 9/4. It’s not a bet on win rate but it probably is on quality. Also make a note of Azam Khan at 6s. He might make Russell look ponderous at the some stage.