Dubai - After an intense tussle for the top four spots, it is Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators who have finished in the Top Two for the second successive year in the Pakistan Super League.

Last year, at the same stage of the tournament, Peshawar and Quetta were involved in a thriller in the first qualifier, which the latter edged by one run. And now on Tuesday (February 28), these two sides will clash again to renew what has been an interesting rivalry.

They have played each other five times so far and the head to head stands at 2-2 with one game getting washed out earlier this season. Out of those four games, three have seen a thrilling finish including the latest encounter on Saturday. Peshawar came out on top in that match with Shahid Afridi hitting an unbeaten 45 to bail his side, who were reeling at 52 for 6 in the tenth over while chasing 129. Peshawar, however, will want their top order to fire in this crucial encounter. Veteran Kamran Akmal has stepped up this season and has been amongst the runs but the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Hafeez and Shakib Al Hasan have not delivered so far.

Iqbal and Hafeez have not yet aggregated 100 runs in the season so far and that will be a cause of concern for the think-tank. They integrated Marlon Samuels into the playing XI for the last two games and he returned with scores of 17 and 7. They will have no worries as such with their bowling department though as the bowlers have done the job almost every time this season. With nine wickets, Hasan Ali is leading the charts for his side. He bowled an outstanding spell of 1 for 13 in three overs in the qualifier clash last season but his efforts went in vain agonisingly.

Quetta, on the other hand, have a batting unit that is in much better form compared to Peshawar. Rilee Rossouw began the tournament with a bang hitting a couple of half-centuries and Kevin Pietersen, who had a sedate start, eased into his zone as the season progressed. Both batsmen are among the top five rungetters in the tournament, having amassed more than 200 runs. And with their reliable skipper Sarfraz Ahmed present in the middle order, Quetta would like their openers Ahmed Shehzad and Asad Shafiq to show more consistency which would make the batting lineup much stronger.

Mahmudullah and Hasan Khan have been their best bowlers so far but England pacer Tymal Mills will remain the key. It remains to be seen how he tackles the likes of Afridi and Darren Sammy at the death. The winner of that mini battle will swing the contest massively in their side's favour. Peshawar will also be wary of what happened last year and wouldn't want a repeat this season. After a great run in the league stage, their one-run loss in the first qualifier gave them another crack at the final but they were thrashed in it by 50 runs. They will have to take inspiration from their latest win and hold their nerve better in order to have a reversal in fortunes.


QUETTA GLADIATORS: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Bismillah Khan, Hasan Khan, Nathan McCullum, Mahmudullah, Tymal Mills, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Nawaz, Noor Wali, Thisara Perera, Kevin Pietersen, Rilee Rossouw, Saad Nasim, Umar Amin, Umar Gul, Luke Wright, Zulfiqar Babar

PESHAWAR ZALMI: Darren Sammy(c), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Andre Fletcher, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imran Khan jnr, Chris Jordan, Junaid Khan, Kamran Akmal, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Hafeez, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Marlon Samuels, Shahid Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Tamim Iqbal, Wahab Riaz