When? Thursday 22nd February
Where? Dubai International Cricket Stadium
Weather? Glorious sunshine expected with temperatures of 26c
What channel is it on? Prime TV (Sky channel 792)
Where can I stream the match? Peshawar Zalmi vs Multan Sultans can be streamed online via http://www.primetv.tv/watch_live.html
Are tickets still available? Ticket information for all PSL 2018 fixtures can be found on http://pakistansuperleague.com.pk/pakistan-super-league-psl-tickets/
All-time meetings: N/A
Coach: Mohammad Akram
Captain: Darren Sammy
- The defending champions Peshawar Zalmi kick off the PSL 2018 campaign against newcomers Multan Sultans and they will be hoping to fare better than the opening game last season when they lost by seven wickets to Islamabad United.
- Skipper Darren Sammy returns to lead the side and he is joined by compatriots Dwayne Bravo and Dwayne Smith as their key overseas players as the likes of Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan and Shahid Afridi have all departed the club.
- They will rely heavily on Wahab Riaz and Dwayne Bravo in terms of their bowling which looks a little fragile in comparison to some of the other teams but they have a core of the side returning in Hafeez, Hasan Ali, Sohail and Sammy which will give them confidence.
Coach: Tom Moody
Captain: Shoaib Malik
- The Sultans come into their debut season with some key appointments off the field in Wasim Akram and Tom Moody, as they play the season opener against the defending champions as underdogs but with plenty of hope.
- Shoaib Malik skippers the side in PSL 2018 and he is joined by some wily veterans in Kieron Pollard, Kumar Sangakkara and Imran Tahir as they have plenty of experience even if they have not played together for the Sultans.
- While running between the wickets and general communication could be an issue, they do have some standout players with both bat and ball, and they will have high hopes for their bowling especially with pacemen Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan expected to lead the way and be ably support by the leg spin of Imran Tahir.
The champions versus the debutants marks the opening of PSL 2018 in what promises to be a fascinating game. Despite making their debut, the Sultans have plenty of T20 experience in their squad so it should not really impact their campaign although there may be some initial communication issues to overcome. Peshawar Zalmi come into this game fresh off an impressive friendly win over Lahore Qalandars in which Kamran Akmal and Dwayne Smith shone as openers. They could be the difference makers in this opening game but expect the Sultans to compete well even if they suffer an opening defeat on their debut.