KARACHI: The group stage of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is becoming more indicative of the teams and their performances as teams finish the first round of their clashes against each other.
A repeat of last year’s final on Thursday sees runners-up Quetta Gladiators take on winners Peshawar Zalmi, with both teams looking for improvement.
Having won the final in emphatic fashion — albeit with Quetta being shorn of their best foreign players such as Tymal Mills, Kevin Pietersen and Rilee Roussow — Peshawar are understandably confident of claiming only their second win of this year’s edition.
“We are all prepared and set to face Quetta Gladiators, whom we defeated in the final last year. They are a good team and have made some changes so they will be a very different team now,” said Peshawar captain Darren Sammy, who lifted the final in a historic final at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore last year. “We have worked on our weak areas and are all set to give our best against Quetta Gladiators.”
Even those on the peripheries of the first team have expressed their eagerness to perform for the Peshawar side and English spinner Liam Dawson is no different.
“It is a great opportunity to be a part of this Peshawar Zalmi side; the team is filled with legends and some of the best players around,” he said, while talking to The Express Tribune. “Sharing dressing rooms with Pakistani legends really helps me improve my skills. I have been working hard in training and will be ready to play whenever the team needs me to.”
Dawson added that he is looking forward to having a positive impact in the PSL in order to further his career. “As a professional cricketer, you always want to do well and show people what you can do,” he said. “The PSL is one of the biggest platforms around in which to perform and hopefully I can do the same.”
Peshawar and Quetta are not unknown entities for each other and the two sides have played more fixtures against each other than any other side. With three wins out of six games for both teams, both teams go into the game confident that they can claim the two points.