After an enthralling day of cricket yesterday in Karachi’s National Stadium, the stage is all set for Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars to lock horns in the second Eliminator of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 5.
The winner of today’s match, slated to start at 8.00 pm will take on Karachi Kings in the final on November 17.
As former champions Quetta Gladiators, Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi are knocked out of the tournament, PSL will have its new champion. The excitement is peaking as only a few hours are left for a knockout bout.
Qalandars advanced to the second eliminator by beating Peshawar Zalmi on Saturday by five wickets as their accomplished batting line-up resisted the panic after tumbling to 33/3 with Mohammad Hafeez, Ben Dunk, Samit Patel, and David Wiese controlling them to first-ever Qualifier win.
Qalandars are wary of their various problems. Openers form, fielding, and death overs bowling are the main loopholes. They looked to have restricted Peshawar to a below-par total but Zalmi smashed 37 from 15 balls to guide them to a big total of 170.
They will highly depend on Shaheen Shah Afridi and Dilbar Hussain as they both were impressive against Sultans. They will also expect Samit Patel to grab some wickets in the middle overs.
After Chris Lynn’s non-availability, Fakhar Zaman’s role increases to provide them a flying start as they can’t depend on Dunk, Hafeez and other middle-order batsmen to pound on Sultans’ spin-attack.
It is highly unlikely they will make any changes to their line-up for this game and while there were plenty of areas for improvement, they will be confident of doing better in the do and die contest.
Their batting was eventually to fault for their loss but in the Super Over as they just managed to post 141/7 from their 20 overs batting first and their top order comprising of Adam Lyth, Zeeshan Ashraf, Shan Masood, and Rilee Rossouw should improve after they crumbled to 40/4.
Veteran Sohail Tanvir was vital with both bat and ball for Sultans yesterday and they will be aiming from him a similar kind of exhibition.
They will also be desperately hoping from their spinners Imran Tahir and Shahid Afridi to chip-in some wickets in middle-overs against a strong Qalandars’ batting.
In view of their particular exhibitions on Saturday, it is Lahore Qalandars who have more motivation to be hopeful coming into this game compared to Multan Sultans.
Qalandars will be certain after their great performance last eve and they also have the edge and quality when contrasting the two sides.
Qalandars are slightly favorite with the momentum and edge in form following Saturday’s matches. They also edged Sultans in the last group game by nine wickets back in March.