Quetta Gladiators v Islamabad United in Pakistan Super League final: Everything you need to know

Quetta Gladiators take on Islamabad United at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday night in the first final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Osman Samiuddin takes a look at how the two sides match-up.

Andre Russell of Islamabad United plays a shot against Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League T20 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah. The two teams will meet again in the PSL final on Tuesday. Pawan Singh / The National
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Quetta Gladiators take on Islamabad United at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday night in the first final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Here is a look at how the two sides match-up:

Form guide

Quetta were the least-fancied side before the league began but have been, overall, its best. Six of their seven wins have been while chasing and the other was a one-run win. So their plan will be clear.

Islamabad stuttered in the early parts of the tournament but have since gathered considerable momentum, much like, dare we say it, Pakistan in the 1992 World Cup. They have won their last four games.

Who is likely to star?

Quetta have had no batting stand-out star but have, instead, thrived on contributions from everyone. Kevin Pietersen has looked good throughout but only registered his first fifty in the play-off against Peshawar. Expect him to turn up.

Islamabad boast the tournament’s only centurion, Sharjeel Khan and as he came good in the last game, he will hope to continue that run in the final. But also keep an eye on Mohammad Irfan, whose form in the last two matches has been frighteningly good.

Mentor vs Mentor

On the field they came up against each other when one was nearing his end, and the other was on the rise.

There were a few memorable battles between Viv Richards and Wasim Akram and their presence here, as mentors of Quetta and Islamabad respectively, has been one of the league’s main attractions.

It has also energised their sides, both coming in with plenty of input on how to play a format neither played (Akram did, but hardly).

What’s at stake?

As well as a swanky and understated trophy, and a chance to create history as the first winners of the PSL, the small matter of a giant share of US$1 million.

That may not strike as much compared to other leagues, but in the world of Pakistan cricket, it could be a life-changing amount for some of the winning local players.

Should I get there early?

Ideally, yes. PSL management are claiming the final to be sold-out. Given that this is a weeknight, that is a mightily impressive feat.

The fear is that many of the tickets might have been bought last week with Peshawar Zalmi – the league’s most popular team – still in the running to make the final. Without them attendance could be affected.

A full house will be vitally important for the PSL to show off, even with huge TV ratings in Pakistan – crowds have been thin, on most days other than Friday but a big one at the final would be an ideal way to end.

osamiuddin@thenational.ae

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