Islamabad showing a united front as PSL gets underway in Pakistan, UAE

Islamabad United are looking to defend their title and a third straight crown in the Pakistan Super League which gets started this weekend. (AFP)
Updated 11 February 2019

Islamabad showing a united front as PSL gets underway in Pakistan, UAE

LONDON: The Pakistan Super League gets underway this weekend — with games split between Pakistan and the UAE for the third year in a row — and Islamabad United are looking to defend their title and a third straight crown.
Lahore and Karachi will play host to some games, while Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah in the emirates will stage the majority of games.
International audiences will be casting their eyes over new signings Ian Bell and Phil Salt after they were added to the Islamabad squad for this season.
Bell averaged 187 against spin in T20s last year and has been brought in to counter the array of spinning talent on show across the league.
Meanwhile Salt could uniquely be set for a role as an opener or a finisher after scoring 433 runs at a strike rate of 173.20 in the shortest format in 2018.
Allrounder Samit Patel will also be involved in his second PSL after taking 13 wickets in his nine previous games, and South African duo Wayne Parnell and Cameron Delport will take part in their first PSL.
Statistically the most successful team in the PSL, Islamabad United will be looking for a third title after winning the tournament in the inaugural year in 2016 and then again in 2018.
Holding a near-60 percent success rate since the tournament’s inception in 2016, United are under new leadership this year following Misbah-ul-Haq’s move to Peshawar Zalmi, with Luke Ronchi now the man looking to bring yet more success to the holders.
The Kiwi was the league’s leading run-scorer in 2018’s edition, scoring 435 at a strike rate of 182.
Islamabad United will open the fourth season of the PSL when they face the Lahore Qalandars in Dubai.


Al-Hilal players to arrive in Tokyo on Sunday for AFC Champions League final second leg

Updated 16 November 2019

Al-Hilal players to arrive in Tokyo on Sunday for AFC Champions League final second leg

  • Al-Hilal’s director of football Saud Kariri said that anything is possible
  • Blues captain Mohammad Al-Shalhoub said the players were unfortunate not to be further ahead

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal will arrive in the Japanese capital Tokyo on Sunday Nov. 17 to prepare for their AFC Champions League final second leg against Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds at Saitama Stadium.
Al-Hilal enter the second leg under less pressure than their Japanese counterpart, having secured a narrow 1-0 win in the first leg in Riyadh last Sunday.
Al-Hilal players remain optimistic about the final, according to sources, and are looking to avenge losses in 2014 and 2017 finals, when they lost 1-0 in Australia and went down to next week’s opponents Urawa.
Blues captain Mohammad Al-Shalhoub said the players were unfortunate not to be further ahead after the game in Riyadh after wasting many opportunities and coming out with one goal, stressing that they are required to concentrate more in Saitama.
“We will be well-prepared to play against Urawa in the second leg through the camp we will set up in Japan to win the final,” he said.
Al-Hilal’s director of football Saud Kariri said that anything is possible during the 90-minute game at the Saitama Stadium, adding: “We hope our players are lucky to invest well in the opportunities and make it difficult for our opponent to score an early goal.”
The 2019 AFC Champions League Final at Saitama Stadium is expected to see a huge crowd, especially after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced four airplanes will transport Al-Hilal’s fans to support the players in Japan.