PSL 2021: Fakhar expects Abu Dhabi pitch to favour batsmen

Team KT/Dubai
Filed on May 27, 2021
Fakhar Zaman hit a brilliant, unbeaten 82 to help Lahore Qalandars beat Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League match in Karachi on February 22, 2021. (AFP file)

Qalandars opener Fakhar hopes his experience of playing in the UAE will help him at the PSL

Fans can expect thrilling battles when the HBL Pakistan Super League resumes at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi from the first week of June.

Defending champions Karachi Kings, 2017 champions Peshawar Zalmi, 2016 and 2018 champions Islamabad United and last year’s runners-up Lahore Qalandars are all locked at six points after an engrossing 14-match Karachi-leg (20 February-3 March).

While the teams have tweaked their foreign players’ rosters for the Abu Dhabi-leg due to availability issues, all of the squads will have the services of Pakistan’s top T20 players.

Almost all of Pakistan’s leading T20 exponents will be seen in action in Abu Dhabi with their focus on getting their sides through to the playoffs before a shot at the glittering PSL trophy.

In the Karachi-leg, Faheem Ashraf (Islamabad United), Fakhar Zaman (Lahore Qalandars), Mohammad Nawaz (Quetta Gladiators), Sharjeel Khan (Karachi Kings), Shoaib Malik (Peshawar Zalmi) and Sohaib Maqsood (Multan Sultans) made significant contributions for their sides.

Now all these players will be hoping to make a big impact when the tournament resumes in Abu Dhabi.

Qalandars’ opener Fakhar, who leads the run-scorers list for his side, hopes his experience of playing in the UAE will help him at the PSL.

“We have gained considerable experience of UAE pitches over the years, the conditions in Abu Dhabi would mostly be batting friendly, the pitches though offer something to the fast bowlers also which makes it a good contest,” Fakhar said.

“The weather will be challenging but that will spur us on further. My aim would be to continue to provide good starts to the team and play long innings for my side whenever an opportunity comes.”

Meanwhile, United’s Faheem Ashraf remains focused on delivering his best performance in Abu Dhabi.

“I enjoyed the Karachi-leg as I made contributions both with bat and ball for my team. I know that I have an important role to play for United and I remain focused on delivering to the best of my ability in Abu Dhabi,” Faheem Ashraf said.

“The weather will be challenging in terms of the heat and humidity so fitness would play a key role for all the six teams. We will prepare hard in the lead-up to our matches and aim to hit the ground running. My personal aim would be to keep making winning contributions for my side both with bat and ball.”

Faheem provided both control and penetration to his side with the ball as he took four wickets at 20. His sensational figures of three for 11 in four overs earned him the player of the match award against Gladiators.

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