It’s going to be a battle between pace and power-hitting when Lahore Qalandars take on Multan Sultans at the Sharjah Cricket Ground in today’s first match.
Riding on a high from their win from last night against Multan Sultans, Lahore Qalandars will take on the unstoppable Quetta Gladiators in the first Pakistan Super League fixture for the day at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium today.
The Qalandars currently sit fourth on the points table with two wins from two matches. On the other hand, the Gladiators are at the top with a perfect record of three wins out of three.
With a rocky start to the tournament where Qalandars were thumped by Islamabad United by five wickets, the Lahore based franchise turned things around from themselves, beating Karachi Kings by 22 runs, but lost their next game by seven wickets to Peshawar Zalmi.
However, a 201 run chase and sixer off the last ball, gave the Qalandars a much-needed boost as they beat Sultans in the next game.
On the other hand, Gladiators under the leadership of Sarfaraz Ahmed have been unstoppable since the tournament kicked off, beating Zalmi by six wickets, United by seven and Sultans by eight wickets.
Date: Saturday, February 23, 2019
Timing: 04:30 PM PKT
Weather: Weather is expected to be clear with a few clouds into the afternoon.
Conditions / Pitch Report: The Sharjah surface should suit the spin bowlers but there is enough in the balanced pitch for the batsmen and seamers too. The pitch has been decent enough for batting, especially in the second half of a game.
Head to Head:
Matches: 6 | Lahore Qaladars: 2 | Quetta Gladiators: 4 | NR: 0
- Lahore Qalandars 184/4 beat Quetta Gladiators 169/6
Lahore Qalandars: WL W L L (completed matches, most recent first)
Quetta Gladiators: W W W L L
1. Lahore Qalandars
The AB de Villiers led Qalandars will look to build upon on their last night’s theatrics where they defeated the Sultans by six wickets.
Fakhar Zaman, De Villiers and his partner in crime David Wiese will be the men to watch out as they will look continue their form for the Qalandars.
However, their bowling department will be in the limelight after none of the Qalandars bowlers gave them the much-needed breakthrough against Sultans.
Lahore Qalandars might replace out of form and injured Brendon Taylor with Corey Anderson.
Lahore Qalandar’s Probable XI:
1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Sohail Akhtar, 3. AB de Villiers, 4. Corey Anderson, 5. Agha Salman (wk), 6. David Wiese, 7. Sandeep Lamichhane, 8. Salman Butt, 9. Rahat Ali, 10. Shaheen Afridi, 11. Haris Rauf
2. Quetta Gladiators
Quetta will be captained by Sarfraz Ahmed who will also keep wickets and bat down the order. Watson should open the batting. Not sure how much bowling he will do.
Gladiators under the leadership of Sarfaraz Ahmed have been unstoppable since the tournament kicked off, beating Zalmi by six wickets, United by seven and Sultans by eight wickets.
Shane Watson who rolled back the years with an impressive knock of 81* from 55 balls against Sultans will be looking to go roaring again. Added with the bowling power of Sohail Tanvir and Fawad Ahmed, Gladiators will defiantly be a force to be reckoned with.
Akmal, who is top form and had scored an unbeaten 74, 18 and 44 in the first three matches, is expected to enthral fans with his big hitting.
Quetta Gladiator’s Probable XI:
1. Sarfraz Ahmed, 2. Shane Watson, 3. DR Smith, 4. Rilee Rossouw, 5. Umar Akmal, 6. Ahmed Shehzad, 7. Anwar Ali, 8. Mohammad Nawaz, 9. Sohail Tanvir, 10. Fawad Ahmed, 11. Mohammad Irfan
Players to watch:
1. Shane Watson – All-Rounder, Quetta Gladiators
Shane Watson is always a dangerous player when it comes to the shortest format of the game. One of the most powerful hitters of the ball, Watson doesn’t need any time to adjust and can switch gears in an instant.
2. Ab de Villiers – Batsman, Lahore Qalandars
What Shane Watson is to Lahore Qalandars, Ab de Villiers is to Lahore Qalandars. De Villiers is a natural when it comes to big knocks and could be a lethal player for the Lahore Qalandars. A player of his quality is always a danger for opposition bowlers as he often tends to take the game away with his maximums.
3. Umar Akmal – Batsman, Quetta Gladiators
Gladiators needed someone to play an innings according to the stipulations. Umar is one of the best hitter of the ball in the world and can dismantle any bowling attack on his day. Akmal is in top form and had scored an unbeaten 74,18 and 44 in the first two matches.
4. David Wiese – All-rounder, Lahore Qalandars
South African all-rounder David Wiese is a utility player. While there may be someone who steals the spotlight, Wiese will be very consistent for Qalandars. Wiese reads the game very well and tunes his batting accordingly.