CricViz analyst Kieran Parmley looks at the latest action in the Pakistan Super League.
Islamabad’s Batting Depth Comes in Clutch
After being inserted by Quetta Gladiators skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, a much changed Islamabad United side made a brisk start to their innings, putting up a Powerplay score of 58-1 – continuing with the all out attack batting approach despite the absence of Paul Stirling and Colin Munro, two integral pieces to that puzzle.
What followed however was the first real batting collapse of this PSL season for Islamabad United, with Shahid Afridi causing trouble against a United batting lineup missing the presence of a left-hander in their top order and some calamitous running between the wickets. Many teams would go into their shell after faltering to a score of 102-5 after 11.1 overs – the earliest in an innings Islamabad United have lost 5 wickets this season.
Instead of meandering along in search of salvaging a par score, up stepped Faheem Ashraf – who after a small phase of rebuilding, continued in the Islamabad United mantra, attacking 70% of the deliveries he faced for his 55 runs from 28 balls. He soaked up plenty of pressure when his high attacking approach didn’t succeed, shrugging off the 15 dot balls faced in his innings and soldiering on, ending up with 5 fours and 4 sixes to guide Islamabad United to 199-8.
Roy’s Powerplay Blitz
Just as he did in their last encounter, Jason Roy took on the Powerplay with significant reward, ending on 42* (20) himself and helping Quetta Gladiators to 72-0, their second highest ever Powerplay score – the highest being 74-1 in their last game. Roy has been in significant Powerplay form in the start of 2022, in his 7 innings he’s scored 180 Powerplay runs at a 159 strike rate and been dismissed just 3 times.
Roy’s variety of scoring areas makes him very hard to bowl to at the start of the innings, with Islamabad United generally leaving two men out on the leg side, Roy was able to adapt and score 34 of his 42 runs through the off side.
Dawson and Shadab Squeeze
Facing spin and particularly the ball spinning away from the right-handers has been a real problem for Quetta Gladiators this season – they have a batting average of just 12 and a scoring rate of 6.42 rpo against leg spin and left-arm spin combined. Following a productive Powerplay for Quetta Gladiators, Islamabad United turned to leg spinner Shadab Khan and left-arm spinner Liam Dawson to tie down the Gladiators batters. The spin duo were on from both ends in Over 7-11 – conceding just 32 runs (at 6.40rpo) and picking up the wickets of Jason Roy and Ahsan Ali. Across the game their combined figures of 4-59 from 8 overs at an economy rate of 7.37 rpo was enough to make things near impossible for Quetta Gladiators to return from, requiring 63 runs from the final 5 overs.
Sarfaraz and Akmal Win It
Quetta Gladiators will have highlighted their excellent Death Overs scoring as one area they could perhaps look to target when facing a near-complete Islamabad United side. Coming into the game, Gladiators had a scoring rate of 12.06 rpo in the final 5 overs – the required rate today was 12.60 rpo. Islamabad United on the other hand were the leakiest team at the death coming into this match, conceding 12.57 runs per over – a clear area of weakness for them.
Sarfaraz had survived the middle overs well and was joined at the crease by Umar Akmal – making his first appearance of the season. The plan was clear….sit in the crease and look to take down the United pacers, who have been very expensive going full at the death so far in PSL 7. The United pacers delivered, bowling 62% of deliveries full at the death and conceding at 16.40 rpo today – the plans were obvious and the execution from the Gladiators batters punished them today.
Islamabad United are perhaps the most flexible team on the T20 circuit right now but they have one clear issue – death bowling – and that could be their downfall as we head towards the backend of PSL 7.