The historic first season of the Pakistan Super League is coming to a close, and the first PSL playoffs qualifying T20 cricket match will stream live from Dubai on Friday. The new T20 tournament’s top two teams battle for an automatic spot in the February 23 Championship Final, while the loser of the Peshawar Zalmi vs. Quetta Gladiators showdown gets a second chance, facing either the third-place Islamabad United or fourth-place Karachi Kings on Sunday.
Led by longtime Pakistan star and national T20 cricket team’s captain Shahid Afridi, Peshawar was favored to win the inaugural PSL tournament and they delivered on the predictions, winning six of their eight matches with a PSL-leading net run rate of +0.573 to take the top of the table.
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) February 19, 2016
Watch a live stream of the Peshawar Zalmi vs. Quetta Gladiators first PSL playoff game in the video below, or continue reading for other streaming information.
Quetta Gladiators placed second in the inaugural PSL cricket tournament without any player among the top three league leaders on either the batting or bowling side, using contributions from up and down their lineup to six of their eight matches. But they will head into the playoffs with a major change to that lineup.
Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi has departed the Gladiators to rejoin his national team as they take on United Arab Emirates in the first match of the Asia Cup qualifying round on Friday. In his place, Peshawar has acquired New Zealand all-rounder Nathan McCullum, who will stay with the team throughout the playoffs.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the PSL Playoffs first qualifying match, Peshawar Zalmi vs. Quetta Gladiators, see the links in the final paragraph of this article. The match gets underway at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 19, at Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For cricket fans in the United States, that start time will be 11 a.m. Eastern Time, 8 a.m. Pacific.
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Quetta also finished at 6-2, but one of those losses came to Peshawar, when the Gladiators fell by eight wickets with eight balls remaining back on February 14.
Watch highlights of that match in the video below.
On the other hand, in the first meeting between the two sides, Quetta won by three wickets with a single ball remaining. But the rubber match will be the most important with a shot at the PSL championship at stake.
For Quetta, the biggest moment of the match may actually come at the coin toss. The Gladiators batted second seven times in eight matches, and they won six of those. If Quetta wins the toss and chooses to bat second, they could already give themselves a significant advantage.
But the Zalmi bowling attack includes two of the top three wicket takers in the 2016 PSL. Pakistan World Cup hero Wahab Riaz took 12 wickets in seven matches to lead the league, while Pakistan domestic league player Mohammad Asghar claimed 10 wickets.
Zalmi Captain Afridi placed fifth in the league with nine wickets in eight matches.
Its Pakistan Super League So I will Speak in Pakistan National Language (urdu) During Interviews- Afridi to Ramiz pic.twitter.com/wmgSuxPlw3
— دہ پشاور زلمے ✌ (@NiazPukhtoon) February 14, 2016
Pehsawar batting star Tamim Iqbal — also the opener for Bangladesh — placed third in PSL run-scoring with 267 and Mohammad Hafeez, another Pakistan star, scored 220 for sixth.
The Pakistan Super League has become a major point of pride for cricket in Pakistan — even though the entire tournament was held in the United Arab Emirates due to security concerns. But with Pakistan players generally barred from participating the world’s top T20 franchise tournament, the Indian Premier League, the PSL has provided a showcase not only for the country’s international stars, but for up-and-coming domestic players as well.
To watch a live stream of the 2016 first PSL playoffs qualifying match, Peshawar Salmi vs. Quetta Gladiators, go to Cricket Gateway at this link — or try this link for other streaming options. All four Pakistan Super League playoff matches will be streamed live in Pakistan on YouTube, through a deal between the PSL and Google, at this link. To watch the live stream on mobile devices, download the Cricket Gateway app.
[Featured Photo via PSL Twitter]