Islamabad, Quetta clash in PSL opener of Sharjah leg
SHARJAH: After two days of lull as far as play goes, the 2017 HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) begins the second leg of action on the smaller field of the Sharjah Cricket Stadium with defending champions Islamabad United meeting Quetta Gladiators on Wednesday night.
Quetta are the only franchise yet to drop points after sealing contrasting victories against Lahore Qalandars and Karachi Kings in Dubai last week. With no big signings as such compared to the other four outfits, the Gladiators have been simply outstanding under the inspirational leadership of Sarfraz Ahmed, who has now been entrusted with the task of captaining Pakistan ODI to go with his T20 responsibility.
There is no doubt that Quetta are seeking revenge for their six-wicket defeat in the final of the inaugural edition against Misbah-ul-Haq’s squad which is still trying to overcome the loss of Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif owing to their alleged involvement in the corruption case that has rocked the PSL abruptly.
New signing Rilee Rossouw has emerged as the fulcrum on which Quetta’s pair of wins has come with successive half-centuries. The 27-year-old left-hander is now deemed ineligible to add to his 51 international appearances (36 ODIs and 15 T20Is) for South Africa after he signed a Kolpak deal to play for English county Hampshire from this summer. But for now he is Quetta’s most-prized acquisition.