Islamabad Region are firm favourite to lift the Quaid Trophy, when they meet sister city Rawalpindi in the final starting from today (Saturday) at Gadaffi Stadium Lahore.
Islamabad have clear edge over their neighbours in both batting and bowling departments.All rounder Imad Wasim, Faizan Riaz, Afaq Rahim, Ali Sarfraz, Zeeshan Ali, Moied Shaikh and wicketkeeper batsmen Raja M Kashif, all are talented batsmen and can change the entire situation of the game at their own. Faizan had made tons of runs in the competition. Imad has not only batted exceptionally throughout the event, but also had taken crucial wickets. Zeeshan had hit double century. Ali is a rock solid in the middle order and same is the case with Moied Shaikh, who can also bowl useful spells.
Islamabad also have an excellent bowling department spearheaded by the highest wicket taker, Rana Shahzad, who could destroy any given batting order with his sharp rising deliveries. Nasruallah is also more than handy with the leather while Junaid Nadir and Muddasar provided much needed depth in the bowling department. They had an excellent coach in the shape of Taimoor Azam, who reads the situation of the match accordingly.
It was although the very first time in the history of Islamabad cricket they are participating in a major final but past and history means nothing as far as Islamabad are concerned as they had all the quality and stuff required to excel at this stage.
On the other hand Rawalpindi have history of winning major titles. They have an excellent coach in the Sabih Azhar, quality batsmen like Adan Mahmood, Muzammil, Awais Zia, Zahid Mansoor, all-rounder Haseeb Azam and Baber and also have a very good pace attack led by Nasir Malik and Akhtar Ayub. But they don't have any quality spinner in their ranks. They have the quality in the batting, but these batsmen are well suited to shorter format of the game. When it comes to longer version of the game, Rawalpindi would find it really difficult to match the quality of their rivals. Although critics are favoring Rawalpindi to become the champions, but odds look highly in favour of Islamabad just because of how balanced side they had put in. While talking to this correspondent Shakil Shaikh, PCB governing board member, who is also the president of Islamabad Region Cricket Association said it was a great occasion for both Islamabad and Rawalpindi. “It is not about winning or losing as both cities enjoy very cordial relations. The matter of the fact is Quaid Trophy would remain in the region, which is by all means a great achievement and clearly indicates how much talent this region possesses.”