Twice runners-up, Quetta Gladiators will want their campaign back on track as they face a stern test in their match against Multan Sultans while Lahore Qalandars desperately want a win as they near exit door in case they lose again in a double-header at Sharjah on Saturday.
The twice runners-up Quetta Gladiators lost a last over thriller to Peshawar Zalmi who owed their success to the courage and guile of their captain Darren Sammy who batted on one leg to hit two sixes and a boundary to seal the victory.
Before Sammy hobbled to the crease Sarfraz Ahmed led Quetta Gladiators were in the game but in the end they were left with just two victories in four contests. A win over Multan Sultans will bring them back on track but for that they have to be at their best.
Quetta had to lift their batting as till now they have managed just one half century through Shane Watson. Kevin Pietersen and Rilee Rossouw have shown traces of brilliance but they have to lift their scores to give Quetta a boost.
Spinner Mohammad Nawaz has been at his best but pace bowling has also been lacking the firepower since Jofra Archer left. He is replaced by Big Bash expert Ben Laughlin who will add value to the attack.
Sultans had started their campaign with a win over defending champions Peshawar Zalmi and then beat Lahore but they erred in their game against Islamabad United but are still second on the table with five points. Their biggest test was against Karachi Kings but that game was rained off.
Lahore Qalandars are cursing their luck after suffering another heartbreaking defeat against Islamabad United, now plunging close to the exit door with four winless matches.
No team is beating Lahore, they are beating themselves as another batting collapse saw them lose eight wickets for just 44 runs after being well set at 77-2 in chase of a modest 122-run target. It all went to the final over when their skipper Brendon McCullum panicked to get run out with seven to win.
Their Kashmir born paceman Salman Irshad hit a six off Mohammad Sami but fell to a short delivery to force a Super Over. Lahore made two injudicious decisions — sending out of form Umar Akmal to open in the match and paceman Mustafizur Rahman bowling the Super Over on a pitch where Sunil Narine was unplayable.
Lahore needs a win against Peshawar Zalmi in all case, if not they will find themselves in an all win situation in the last five games.
Zalmi on the other hand, two wins in two games, will hope their Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal fires before leaving for Sri Lanka.