- Multan Sultans have won five out of their eight games this season and have lost only once with remaining two games washed away
- Imran Tahir has been in great form with the ball for Multan Sultans and can turn it for his side
- Peshawar Zalmi have an out of form bowling attack at the moment and this will create pressure on the side
We are in the last leg of the league stage in the 2020 Pakistan Super League and the 27th game would see the table toppers Multan Sultans take on the Peshawar Zalmi. The Sultans have already booked a spot for themselves in the playoff stage of the season.
For the Peshawar Zalmi this will be an important game as a win here would take them to the playoffs. The side is currently sitting in the second place on the points table but has only two points separating them from the remaining teams.
In the earlier game between the two sides this season the Multan Sultans had won it convincingly by 6 wickets and this would give them lot of confidence ahead of the next one. The Zalmi on the other hand have played well in the last few games and would look to continue with that show. Both the sides have good hitters of the ball in their ranks and playing on a flat surface the contest should be interesting.
They are currently the table toppers and Shan Masood would be proud of the way his side has played so far in the tournament. Their last game against the Quetta Gladiators was washed away by rain. They have had a wonderful season so far with the bat as well as the ball. Having defeated Zalmi earlier in the season Masood would be looking for a similar show from his players in the next game.
They have a very strong batting line-up going into this game. Zeeshan Ashraf and James Vince have done well so far in the season and they would be looking to repeat their show one again. In the middle order Rilee Rossouw and Moeen Ali have been in good form. With Shan Masood and Shahid Afridi in the finishers’ role the side will be looking to trouble the Zalmi bowlers who are looking out of form at the moment.
In the bowling department as well the side has done well in recent games. Their new ball bowlers Sohail Tanvir and Junaid Khan have troubled opponents and shall look to do the same in the next game. Shahid Afridi and Imran Tahir will look to make good use of their experience and get turn from the surface. Mohammad Ilyas has also looked good and adds to the bowling options for his skipper.
James Vince, Imran Tahir and Moeen Ali will be expected to do well for Multan Sultans in this game.
Expected Playing XI:
Shan Masood (c), Zeeshan Ashraf (wk), James Vince, Rilee Rossouw, Moeen Ali, Khushdil Shah, Shahid Afridi, Imran Tahir, Mohammad Ilyas, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir
Wahab Riaz’s side went down against the Lahore Qalandars by 5 wickets in the last game and it was a bad loss for the side after putting up a big score on the board. They have done well after the poor start to the season and are on the brink of booking a place in the playoffs. Riaz would hope to see better show from his bowlers as they are up against one of the strongest batting line-ups in the tournament.
The side will need a good show at the top from Tom Banton and Kamran Akmal as both these players missed out in the last game. In the middle order the side has three in-form batsmen in Liam Livingstone, Shoaib Malik and Haider Ali. Down the order Carlos Brathwaite and Lewis Gregory have big hitting skills and they will need to play those big shots for the side to put up a big score on the board.
Their bowlers have had a poor season and in most games they have gone for runs. Hasan Ali’s poor form with the ball is a concern and he will need to come up with a strong show with the new ball in company of Rahat Ali. Riaz is doing well with the ball and shall look to contain runs along with Yasir Shah. Brathwaite and Gregory must check their economy rates for the side to do well.
Kamran Akmal, Tom Banton and Shoaib Malik are the three players Peshawar Zalmi would have most expectations on.
Expected Playing XI :
Wahab Riaz (c), Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wk), Lewis Gregory, Yasir Shah, Carlos Brathwaite, Rahat Ali, Liam Livingstone, Hasan Ali, Tom Banton, Haider Ali
This tournament has been about sides chasing down big scores. The pitches have had nothing for the bowlers so far in the season and setting up a score has looked difficult. In such a scenario we expect the side winning the toss to put the opponents into bat.
PITCH AND WEATHER CONDITIONS
The pitch at National Stadium Karachi has seen several big scores this season. The surface has been flat and we expect a similar one for the next game. Batsmen would eye their chances against the fast bowlers as there is little swing and movement on the surface. Spinners are expected to do well in this game but we might see another score in the range of 180 runs for the side batting first.
The skies would be clear over Karachi during the game and the temperature is expected to be around 24℃ when the game starts. Wind conditions would be normal with 23% humidity and 0% precipitation is predicted for the day.
Multan Sultans have been in excellent form all through this season. The batsmen and the bowlers have played complementary roles so far in the season and this is one of the reasons we believe the Multan Sultans would start favourites in this game.
The Peshawar Zalmi’s bowling attack has looked in bad shape so far and they bowled at a higher economy which has in ways dwarfed the good show their batsmen have put up. This is one of their weak areas going into the game.
Finally Multan Sultans have already earned their place in the playoffs and hence the side would be able to play free and fearless cricket as compared to Zalmi who have to be conservative in their approach. The Multan Sultans would start as favourites in this game.