The cricket festival will soon be back for Pakistani cricket fans, and everyone will be talking about the 2016 Pakistan Super League (PSL) match prediction as the tournament kicks off in less than a month. With the presence of international T20 stars such as Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen, and Shane Watson, the tournament is sure to be followed by cricket fans from around the world. Meanwhile, national superstars such as Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Amir, and Misbah ul Haq will be hoping to lead their teams to victory. With the squads all lined up and the fixtures announced, many fans are wondering how the encounter between the teams participating in the 2016 Pakistan Super League (PSL) will prove to be. Match prediction can be made by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of every team. Here are some of these predictions.
Islamabad United vs. Quetta Gladiators Match Prediction
The first encounter of the tournament is between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators. Islamabad and Quetta are being rated as the underdogs, which means both teams will be looking to prove its critics wrong from the start.
Where Islamabad will be counting on Misbah ul Haq’s leadership to see them through, Quetta will be relying on Kevin Pietersen’s talent. Both teams have a balanced squad. While Islamabad United has brought in two Australians (prolific all-rounder Shane Watson and wicket-keeper batsman Brad Haddin), Quetta has trusted English players Kevin Pietersen and Luke Wright. Quetta’s team selection can be praised as the team has relied on economic and underrated players instead of the hyped names. The presence of performers such as Afghanistan and Zimbabwe captains Mohammad Nabi and Elton Chigumbura makes the Gladiators batting lineup a powerful one.
One area where Islamabad may beat Quetta is leadership. While Misbah ul Haq will be taking the reins of Islamabad’s team, Quetta has set the task of captaincy on Sarfraz Ahmed’s shoulders. Although Sarfraz is the vice-captain of Pakistan’s ODI and T20 team, his leadership skills are no match for Misbah’s. Nevertheless, Sarfraz can utilize the tournament to prove that he is a much better choice for leading the international team than Azhar Ali.
A close analysis of both teams and their strengths and weaknesses shows that either team can win this close encounter. However, smart money will be on Misbah’s Islamabad United.
Karachi Kings vs. Lahore Qalandars Match Prediction
This match is anticipated to be the most heated rivalry of the tournament as the city rivalry between Karachi and Lahore goes way back. Citizens of both cities have been in a long-standing debate about which city is better. PSL 2016 provides an excellent platform for fans of both cities to settle this discussion once and for all. Regarding team strength, both teams have taken different approaches to building their squad.
The Lahore Qalandars Team is heavily relying on hard-hitting batsmen such as Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Umar Akmal, and Abdul Razzaq. However, this can prove to be a hit-and-miss for Lahore as a batting order made entirely of hard hitters means that it will either be posting some massive totals or failing miserably short. Nevertheless, it has some quality bowlers in the lineup as well, but doubts loom over the presence of Yasir Shah and Mustafizur Rahman. Even then, it has enough firepower in its squad to win the title easily.
While the Qalandars has built its team around hard-hitting T20 specialists, Karachi has taken a much more balanced approach to the squad building task. Bringing in reliable batsmen such as Shoaib Malik, Shakib Al Hasan, and James Vince, the Kings will be hoping to play a calculated game to outsmart its opponents. Its strength lies in the bowling department as the returning swinger Mohammad Amir joins Sohail Khan, Sohail Tanvir, and Bilawal Bhatti. Karachi will also be expecting Malik’s off spin and Shakib and Imad Wasim’s orthodox spin to provide some wicket-taking options.
In conclusion, Lahore has a T20 specialist squad but lacks balance, while Karachi might end up wishing it had signed batsmen like Gayle, although it does have Shahzaib Hasan and Dilshan as supplementary players. Nevertheless, when the two teams face off, it will be a very close encounter, though odds point in Karachi’s favor mostly because its captain Shoaib Malik is in the form of his life.
Peshawar Zalmi vs. Islamabad United Match Prediction
The third encounter of the tournament will be between Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United. Although this match will be the first for Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad will be coming into the game having tested its tactics against Quetta. It is expected to be another intense rivalry as the two teams are led by two of the most senior Pakistani players in the tournament.
While Peshawar will be relying on Afridi’s aggressive style of play, Islamabad will be looking to outwit its opponents with Misbah’s calculated decisions. However, the game between Peshawar and Islamabad will be much more than just a battle of leadership between Afridi and Misbah as both teams have some talented overseas players in the squad. While Islamabad has placed its money on the Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, who is currently showing off his talents in the Big Bash League, Peshawar has bought Darren Sammy to partner Afridi in his exploitive hitting.
Peshawar may come out on top as its bowling attack is arguably the strongest one in the tournament. However, Islamabad will not be coming unprepared as the combination of Shane Watson and the sensational Mohammad Irfan is expected to be an exciting one. Match prediction regarding this game heavily depends on Afridi’s form as he has the potential to win any game when he’s in shape. However, Islamabad is expected to outclass Afridi’s Zalmi in this third match of the tournament.
The 2017 (PSL) Pakistan Super League match prediction shows that the tournament will be a very exciting one with many nail-biting finishes expected to take place as five teams fight for the prestigious trophy of the 2017 Pakistan Super League.