- Quetta Gladiators have a very strong batting line-up with Shane Watson, Ben Cutting and Jason Roy stroking the ball well
- Jason Roy is looking in good form for the Gladiators and he has the ability to take his side to a win in the game
- Lahore Qalandars have lost four out of their five games so far in the tournament and are looking in poor form
The 21st game of the Pakistan Super League would see hosts Lahore Qalandars take on the Quetta Gladiators at Gaddafi Stadium. It has been a bad season so far for the Qalandars as they have managed to win only once and are coming into this game having suffered a big loss in their last match. The Gladiators aren’t looking in the best of form either having lost their last two games and the side seems to be struggling with its bowling at the moment.
It will be an interesting contest as the game is very important for the Quetta Gladiators. One more loss can throw them out of the contention for the playoffs. They had lost their previous game against the Qalandars and would be looking to settle scores in the next one. The Lahore Qalandars would have the crowds cheering for them and this will be a huge confidence booster for the side going into this game.
Sohail Akhtar’s side is almost out of contention for a place in the playoff stage of the tournament. It has been a dismal effort from the team so far where they have lost four out of their five games. They went down by 71 runs in what was another ordinary performance from the side. The only positive for the side is the fact that their only win in the tournament came against Quetta Gladiators and the side will look to repeat that performance again.
It is at the top that the side would need a good start from Chris Lynn and Salman Butt. This has been one of the major weaknesses of the side. Ben Dunk and Samit Patel have batted well but the rest of the batsmen have been inconsistent. The likes of Mohammad Hafeez, Sohail Akhtar and Muhammad Faizan will need to contribute with the bat for the side to put up a stiff challenge against the Gladiators.
Their bowling attack has also not had a great season so far. Dilbar Hussain and Usman Shinwari did well in the last game but other bowlers went for plenty of runs. Samit Patel and Salman Irshad will need to focus on bowling tighter lines in the next game and the side would also expect better show with the ball from Muhammad Faizan.
Chris Lynn, Ben Dunk and Samit Patel ate the three players who will be expected to perform for the Lahore Qalandars.
Expected Playing XI:
Sohail Akhtar (c), Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Samit Patel, Chris Lynn, Seekkuge Prasanna, Ben Dunk (wk), Usman Shinwari, Salman Irshad, Dilbar Hussain, Muhammad Faizan
Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side is in poor form at the moment and after a good start to the season they have lost their last three games. They lost the last game against Peshawar Zalmi by 30 runs and have to win the next one to create their chances for a berth in the playoffs. They had lost against the Qalandars earlier and this is likely to play in their minds.
On the batting front their openers Shane Watson and Jason Roy have looked in good form so far in the tournament. The side would look at Ahmed Shehzad to improve his strike rate which hasn’t been the best so far. Mohammad Nawaz, Azam Khan and Ben Cutting will have to steer the middle order and set the platform for Sarfaraz Ahmed to launch his attack towards the end.
Their bowling attack is looking clueless at the moment and for the third consecutive game they have bowled at over 10 runs an over. Mohammad Hasnain has been picking wickets but he has been expensive and same has been the cases with Sohail Khan and Tymal Mills. These bowlers along with Ben Cutting and Mohammad Nawaz will have to bowl well in the next game.
Jason Roy, Shane Watson and Ben Cutting will be the players the side would count on in the next game.
Expected Playing XI:
Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Jason Roy, Shane Watson, Ahmed Shehzad, Azam Khan, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Nawaz, Sohail Khan, Tymal Mills, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah
The last two games at this venue have gone in favor of sides that have batted first while the previous three were won by the side chasing the score. Given the spell of rain batting won’t be very easy here at the start of the game. Hence the side that wins the toss is in all likelihood going to invite the opponents to bat first.
PITCH AND WEATHER CONDITIONS
The pitch at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore has soaked in lot of moisture due to the rains over the past few days. This would make the conditions slightly difficult for the batsmen and as the bowlers are expected to find good assistance from the surface. Spinners would do well and the side that bats first would be happy with a score of 160 runs or more.
We have already seen spells of rain during this tournament and the skies over Lahore would be overcast with good chances of rain during the day. Temperature would be around 17℃ during the start of the game. Along with this 74% humidity and 50% precipitation is predicted for the day.
Lahore Qalandars are looking in extremely poor form at the moment. Apart from the one win so far they have failed to play well as a unit in all their games. This will make the Quetta Gladiators the favourites to win this game.
The opening pair for Lahore Qalandars hasn’t fired in the tournament and this is one of their major problems. In most of the games the side has had to deal with poor starts and Gladiators would be looking to exploit this weakness to their advantage.
It is an extremely tough call to make as both the sides are struggling for form at the moment but Quetta Gladiators have more depth in their batting and this would put them nose ahead of the Lahore Qalandars