Two players from the Peshawar Zalmi camp have tested positive for COVID19. This is a big blow for the team which will play their eliminator game against Islamabad United on February 24. The players who have contracted the virus are all-rounder Ben Cutting and leg-spinner Usman Qadir. Alongside the trio, batting consultant Hashim Amla has also tested positive. All three individuals will now have to serve seven-day isolation.
This means Cutting and Qadir won’t be available for the team in the playoffs. The final will be played on February 27 and if the team qualifies, they might be available to play. The Wahab Riaz-led side needs to win their next game and then beat the loser of the qualifier one on February 25 to qualify for the final. The Qualifier One will be played on February 23 between defending champions Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars.
Both players have contributed in the crucial stages of the games for their team. The all-rounder has amassed 152 runs, averaging 28.14 and a strike rate of 164.16 with the highest score of unbeaten 52. He once hit 27 runs against Quetta Gladiator’s left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir. His services will be missed by the team as he can hit the long ball in the slog overs.
On the other hand, the leg-spinner has eight scalps to his name in seven games, averaging 29.12 with the best figures of 25/3. The team might have to use the services of either Liam Livingstone or Matt Parkinson. Livingstone is a part-time leg-spinner and Parkinson has been a strike leggie for Lancashire. It will be interesting to see which one will play the role as only four foreign players can be fielded in the XI.
Zalmi is coming off a Super Over victory against Lahore Qalandars. Both sides scored 158 runs apiece at the end of 20 overs. Qalandars could only score five runs in the Super Over which was easily chased down in two balls by Zalmi.