Islamabad United, the first-ever champions of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), will take on two-time finalist Quetta Gladiators at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
After losing their opening matches of the season, the Gladiators and United came back strongly to register comprehensive victories against Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi respectively and, therefore, will be brimming with confidence.
The Gladiators, who have the highest overall win percentage in the league so far (excluding the newest entrants Multan Sultans), will look to exhibit the same form shown in the past two seasons.
Led by Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, the Gladiators have been the most consistent side of the tournament and looked the part against the weak Lahore Qalandars in the last match.
The team has a strong batting line-up, with players such as Kevin Pietersen, Shane Watson, Jason Roy and Rilee Rossouw — who have the ability to turn the match around at any point.
They also boast the services of West Indian all-rounder Jofra Archer who was one of the most talked about players in this year's Big Bash League and was bought for a mammoth sum of $1.1 million by Rajasthan Royals and has already taken five wickets in the ongoing tournament.
Apart from Archer, there's Anwar Ali and Hasan Khan, who recently captained Pakistan's Under-19 team and Mohammad Nawaz, giving the Gladiators an extra edge in batting.
But they are facing Misbahul Haq's Islamabad United which has the likes of the experienced Dean Jones and Waqar Younis in the dugout.
Misbah, however, has been unable to play the first two matches and it is unclear whether he will be able to return tonight.
The team relies heavily on its young blood in the shape of left-handed batsman Hussain Talat, all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and, of course, the precocious Shadab Khan.
And with the hard-hitting JP Duminy joining them, they are bound to feel they have an upper hand in the game.
Hit by the ugly fixing scandal in the second season involving their former players Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif, United would want to relive their first season run and leave no room for mistakes this time around.
The match begins at 9pm.
Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Kevin Pietersen, Rilee Rossouw, Mahmudullah Riyad (cover: John Hastings), Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Nawaz, Anwar Ali, Mir Hamza, Umar Amin, Shane Watson, Carlos Brathwaite (cover: Jofra Archer/Ben Laughlin), Rahat Ali, Rameez Raja jr., Saad Ali, Saud Shakeel, Hassan Khan, Jason Roy (cover: Albie Morkel), Rashid Khan (cover: Chris Green), Mohammad Azam Khan and Faraz Ahmed
Misbah ul Haq (captain), Alex Hales, Asif Ali, JP Duminy, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sahibzada Farhan, Amad Butt, Andre Russell, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Hussain Talat, Steven Finn (replaced David Willey), Sam Billings, Luke Ronchi, Mohammad Hasan, Rohail Nazir, Mohammad Sami, Rumman Raees (vice captain), Samuel Badree, Zafar Gohar, Mohammad Hasnain, Samit Patel (as cover for Asela Gunaratne who was a cover for JP Duminy), and Chadwick Walton (cover for Sam Billings).