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June 11, 2021

Wahab expresses faith in Zalmi’s combination

KARACHI: Peshawar Zalmi’s skipper Wahab Riaz on Thursday said that they have a strong combination and believe in their players who are ready to go out and perform in the HBL PSL-6 Abu Dhabi leg.

“We have a very good combination. We believe in our unit and are behind every player and are ready to click in the Abu Dhabi leg,” Wahab told a news conference on Thursday. Zalmi were scheduled to face Lahore Qalandars in their first outing of the Abu Dhabi leg at 11pm on Thursday at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Lahore on Wednesday defeated Islamabad United by five wickets in a last-ball thriller.

Wahab said they have acclimatised with the conditions. “We had got a specific time for preparation and that was good enough as all our players had already spent quarantine. We also played warm-up matches and we also got acclimatised with the weather. I think the five-day gap was good for preparation,” Wahab said.

He said they have got equally good replacements for those players who were not available for the Abu Dhabi leg. “Yes, we don’t have that combination which was in the first leg but the players we have picked are equally good and we have tried our level best to fill those places. I think the team combination is very good and there are a few new additions so we are very excited and are looking forward to the games now,” Wahab said.

He said that Wednesday’s wicket was slower than their expectations. “I think the match between United and Qalandars was slightly stretched. I will give credit to Islamabad United who bowled really well. The wicket was slightly lower than what we had expected. There is low bounce and helps the spinners. As our match will begin at 10pm UAE time tonight so conditions could be different. We have a very strong side and no doubt Lahore are also very good and it will be seen which team handles the pressure well and how they take the game along,” said Wahab, a left-arm pacer.

He ruled out the impression that weather could create any big issue. “Yes, it was very hot when we had started doing training after we came out of quarantine on June 1 but we slowly got acclimatised. I don’t think there will be much difference because of hot weather,” he said.

“At night the weather is slightly better. Yes, in the day match problems can emerge. We have played in Pakistan in such weather,” he said.

“We will see the conditions. We have seen enough dew during our practice sessions for the last five days but in the first innings in the Wednesday’s match we saw that there was no such dew factor. I think PCB is also managing some spray for dew. Today’s match is a bit late and the team batting second will definitely get advantage. But we are professionals and will try to cope with such conditions,” Wahab said.

“The wicket here is a bit slow and because of heat it will be difficult for the curator. Last night there was grass on the pitch but the ball was not coming that fast. Maybe this is because of early matches and maybe the wicket behaves a bit different today and there may be a high-scoring game. I think 160 and 170 has been the best total so far,” Wahab said.

He said it would be good if Zalmi played judiciously. “It would be better for Peshawar Zalmi to play good cricket as attacking cricket may create issues. You saw last night Islamabad United had to pay for playing aggressive cricket which cost them wickets and they finished 15 to 20 runs short. It’s very important to assess the conditions.”