Darren Sammy will be hoping usual suspects can deliver again
Peshawar Zalmi have reached the final of the Pakistan Super League in three consecutive seasons now so it makes sense that the management decided to retain the core of the side this year as well.
However they have lost the last two finals in a row, with first Islamabad United and then Quetta Gladiators chasing down the targets much more easily than Peshawar would have liked.
Skipper Darren Sammy’s side have players that can win the game with both bat and ball and will be looking to the usual suspects to deliver success this time around.
Here are two players that can help them take the final step:
Kamran Akmal: The ageless wicketkeeper-batsman has had his fair share of controversies and suspect performances in the Pakistan shirt but there is little doubt that he has been the PSL’s most consistent performer ever since the league began four years ago.
Kamran is the tournament’s all-time top-scorer as well as the player with the most dismissals to his name.
The 38-year-old has finished in the top two of the run-scoring charts for three years in a row, winning the race in 2017 before finishing behind Luke Ronchi and Shane Watso in 2018 and 2019.
Kamran’s solid performances at the top of the order allow the lower order to play with much more freedom and the right-hander can take the game away from any team alongside the likes of Tom Banton and Liam Livingstone at the top of the order.
Hasan Ali: The pacer has struggled with injury and lack of form but had a record-breaking 2019 PSL campaign as he claimed a record-high 25 wickets.
Hasan’s tally of 51 is second only to Wahab Riaz’s in the overall list of wicket-takers and is going to lead the line for Peshawar ahead of his more experienced teammate.
It will be a worry, therefore, for Sammy that Hasan took just two T20I wickets in all of 2019 at an average of 62 and economy of 10.33 and had a similarly woeful time in ODIs where he claimed seven wickets at an average of 89.28 and economy of 6.61.
The former world number one’s numbers have been on the decline for three years now and Pakistan will be hoping he can regain his form ahead of the T20 World Cup later this year.