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Tuesday April 23, 2024

PSL 9 begins with Qalandars-United clash today

Islamabad United will be without Tom Curran, sidelined due to a knee injury sustained in Australia

By Asher Butt
February 17, 2024
Islamabad Uniteds captain Shadab Khan during a practice session on February 15, 2024. — Facebook/Islamabad United
Islamabad United's captain Shadab Khan during a practice session on February 15, 2024. — Facebook/Islamabad United

LAHORE: The much-anticipated 9th edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) is set to kick off on Saturday (today) with a clash between defending champions Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United here at Gaddafi Stadium. The stage is set for an exhilarating battle between Shaheen Afridi’s Qalandars and Shadab Khan’s Islamabad United.

Both the teams are two-times champions. The first ball of the match is expected to be bowled at 8pm PKT. In the past, both teams have displayed resilience and determination, making this match a true test for them to prove their mettle. Fans can anticipate a roller-coaster of emotions, with the potential for dramatic moments and suspenseful twists throughout the game.

Islamabad United will be without Tom Curran, sidelined due to a knee injury sustained in Australia. Fast bowler Naseem Shah’s fitness remains uncertain as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury since the Asia Cup last year.

On the Lahore Qalandars’ side, leg-spinner Rashid Khan’s absence is a significant setback, as he continues rehabilitation from a recent back surgery. Additionally, England all-rounder Dan Lawrence is only partially available due to his commitments with the England Test squad in India.

The history between Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United has been marked by tough competition and great cricketing moments. Qalandars, representing the cultural heartland of Pakistan, showcase resilience and style, bouncing back stronger after facing challenges in previous seasons. Lahore and Islamabad have played 17 matches. Islamabad have an edge of nine wins over Qalandars who have eight victories. Lahore came up with 226 runs as their highest score while Islamabad scored 238. Lahore’s lowest was 121 as compared to 90 of Islamabad.

Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United in the matches played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore stands at 2-2 and the two franchises have evenly split their four meetings on this ground. All PSL venues are known for their batting-friendly surfaces, particularly at the start of the season, featuring flat pitches and small boundary sizes.