|Finished.157/6 (20) - 159/3 (16.2)|
Despite their excellent show last season, few people expected the Lahore Qalandars to start off their latest PSL campaign in the way that they have. With two wins in two, they are now level on points with Islamabad United, and lead the pack in terms of net run rate. Following such a solid start, they will now face their opponent from last year’s second qualifier, the Multan Sultans. The Sultans haven’t been doing anywhere near as good this year, with both their matches ending with them on the losing side. They will be desperate to get a win on the board to avoid the kind of fate they suffered for their first two seasons. Before the two teams get bloody on the battlefield, let’s take a look at how they’re armed.
Sohail Akhtar (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Samit Patel, Ben Dunk(wk), David Wiese, Haris Rauf, Rashid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Ahmed Daniyal, Agha Salman.
Preview and form
If Lahore’s players can keep their current form up, there’s little the other teams can do to stop them from getting to the playoffs once again. Bowling first against the Quetta Gladiators in their last match, Haris Rauf’s 3-for, despite being expensive, helped limit what could have been a massive target, with economical spells from Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Daniyal, and Rashid Khan - the last two of whom also picked up a wicket each - helping the cause. Chasing 178, all it took was the dynamic duo of Fakhar Zaman and the aforementioned Hafeez with 82 from 52 and 73 from 33 respectively to seal the win with 9 wickets and 10 deliveries to go.
Fakhar Zaman: After his match-winning knock, it’s hard to exclude Fakhar Zaman from this list.
Ben Dunk: Although he didn’t get the chance to bat last game, we think Big Ben will be up for some carnage in this one.
Shaheen Shah Afridi: Conceding way too many runs in the last match, the young Afridi should be back in form this time around.
Haris Rauf: Rauf took the highest number of wickets in the last match to earn his place here.
Mohammad Rizwan (c/wk), Sohaib Maqsood, Chris Lynn, James Vince, Rilee Rossouw, Khushdil Shah, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Carlos Brathwaite, Shahnawaz Dhani, Usman Qadir.
Preview and form
Things aren’t looking pretty for the Sultans. No matter what they do, they seem to somehow be outdone. Their last win was early last year, and with 5 losses in their last 5 PSL matches, they could certainly do with some improvement. In their last match, they batted first against the Peshawar Zalmi. Mohammad Rizwan’s 41 off 28 was a good way to start, with James Vince’s 84 off 55 forming the crux of the total while Sohaib Maqsood’s 36 off 21 provided good support to get the team to a massive 193. However, Shahnawaz Dhani’s double strike and Usman Qadir’s economical 4-0-29-1 were the only high points of a very ordinary bowling attack, and the Sultans total was overtaken with 6 wickets and one over to spare.
Mohammad Rizwan: The sheer form this young man is in is remarkable.
James Vince: Vince seems to have carried his good form from the BBL right into the PSL.
Shahnawaz Dhani: The local debutant was expensive in his first match, but effective nevertheless.
Usman Qadir: The leg spinner shares his name with one of the greatest the trade has seen, and hopefully he’ll perform similarly.
Lahore Qalandars vs Multan Sultans weather conditions and pitch report
With winter ebbing away from Karachi, the temperatures are starting to climb. Although the temperature will be tolerable, there will be quite a lot of wind during the match, and that might make high catches hard to judge. Other than that, conditions are excellent for cricket.
As batsmen are figuring out the Karachi pitch, things are getting ridiculous with even 190+ totals being chased down twice in as many days. Even fast bowlers, who are supposed to get help from the pitch, are being slaughtered. The only thing that’s absolutely consistent is that whichever team bats second has gone on to win the match. Expect only 200+ scores to be safe in these strange times.
Can the Qalandars get a hat-trick of successes? Or will the Sultans finally manage to get that elusive first win? Find out if our Lahore Qalandars versus Multan Sultans predictions come true on Friday!
|LQ Top Batsman:|
|MS Top Batsman:|
|LQ Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|MS Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|Players to score a fifty:|
|B Dunk/F Zaman (LQ), J Vince/M Rizwan (MS)|