We are just about at the midpoint in the Pakistan Super League 2021/22 and by the looks of it, the tournament is gearing up for an exciting finish. Multan Sultans are running away with the initiative at the top of the ladder and the competition is getting more and more intense between the rest of the sides with every passing match.
Coming up next in the tournament, Lahore Qalandars will be taking on Multan Sultans in a bid to get closer to the top of the ladder. Multan Sultans, on the other hand, will be keen to continue building on what has been a flawless campaign for them so far. This is a match between two of the best sides in the competition and a cracker of a contest is certainly on the cards.
This upcoming match between Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans is to be played on the evening of 11th February 2022 at the Gadaffi Stadium, Lahore.
LAHORE QALANDARS VS MULTAN SULTAN TEAM PREVIEWS
Not many would have imagined a side featuring the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Rashid Khan, and Haris Rauf losing matches on the back of some poor bowling performances. However, the two matches that Lahore Qalandars have lost have come in high-scoring encounters. Despite the losses, however, the Qalandars are in a decent position at the moment and another win here should push them closer to a playoff spot, something that has eluded them since the last few overs.
As it currently stands on the points table, the Qalandars are placed at the third spot on the ladder with three wins from five matches. They have a total of six points to their name coupled with a very respectable net run rate of 0.337. A win here will push them to the second spot, at least for the time being, and that is exactly what they will be aiming for.
Batting first against the Gladiators in their previous match, Lahore Qalandars looked in fantastic touch as they hammered a total of 204 runs in total. Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, and Harry Brook were all terrific in their approach as the Qalandars kept going on with the momentum despite losing a few quick wickets towards the back end of the innings. Much to their disappointment, however, they failed to defend that total as Quetta Gladiators pulled out a spectacular performance with the bat.
While the Gladiators were brilliant in the second innings, the fact that Qalandars’ bowlers were off their mark with the ball didn’t help their cause. Their three most experienced bowlers in Shaheen Shah Afridi, Rashid Khan, and Haris Rauf were together taken away for 120 runs in 12 overs combined. With dew making things difficult, the Qalandars slowly lost control with the ball and eventually the match.
On paper, the Qalandars have an excellent side, but their execution and on-field strategy has been questionable, to say the least. Things are only going to get difficult against the Qalandars if they do not manage to get things right. However, they have some of the veterans of the format in Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Phil Salt, Rashid Khan, and David Wiese who all can turn things around in a matter of a few overs. If the Qalandars can get things right, Multan Sultans will certainly be in for a surprise.
With yet another win in the tournament, this time over Peshawar Zalmi, Multan Sultans reinforced their position at the top of the ladder. Given the way they have been playing, they apparently cannot put a foot wrong in this edition of the tournament so far. They did a fantastic job in their most recent match, despite bowling second in more-difficult dewy conditions.
Batting first against Peshawar Zalmi, Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood got them off to a terrific start once again as the pair combined to score 98 runs for the first wicket. Coming in at number three, Tim David played a brilliant aggressive knock as he scored 34 off just 18 deliveries. Although they lost a bit of momentum towards the end of their innings, the total of 182 runs that they scored proved to be too much to scale for Peshawar Zalmi.
It was undoubtedly a splendid effort from their bowlers to defend a total of 182 on a surface that had almost nothing for the bowlers and had short boundaries. Blessing Muzarabani was instrumental up front as he picked up two crucial wickets to rock the Zalmis. The other bowlers kept the pressure up on the Zalmi batsmen as the Sultans kept chipping away at the wickets, eventually dismissing Peshawar Zalmi for a total of 140 runs.
Currently, on the points table, Multan Sultans are placed at the top of the table with six wins in as many matches. Not only that, they have a terrific net run rate of 1.243, which just shows how dominant the Sultans have been.
The immaculate coordination between the top-order and the middle-order has been a trademark of Multan Sultans thus far. The likes of Tim David, Shan Masood, and Mohammad Rizwan have been instrumental for them and will continue to play key roles going forward as well. On paper, Multan Sultans have one of the best-balanced sides in the competition and their position on the points table is an evidence of that. Overall, with the on-paper side and form the Sultans have been in, all they need to do is not be complacent. If they are able to do that and play to their potential, getting past them is going to be a very steep climb.
LAHORE QALANDARS VS MULTAN SULTANS MATCH DETAILS:
Match: Lahore Qalandars vs Multan Sultans, Match 17, Pakistan Super League 2022.
Date and Time: February 11 2022, Friday; 08:00 PM IST.
Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
The pitch at the Gaddafi Stadium is good for batting. Batters enjoy batting on this surface, as the ball comes nicely onto the bat. Bowlers will have to be disciplined while bowling on this surface.
It should be clear on Friday. The temperature is expected to range between 6 and 21 degrees Celsius.
PROBABLE XIS LAHORE QALANDARS
Fakhar Zaman led the charge with the bat at the top of the order in the last game, scoring 70. A cameo from Harry Brook (41 off 17) helped them post a tall total. However, a century from Jason Roy helped the Gladiators win by seven wickets.
Shan Masood, opening the batting, scored a brilliant 68 in his team’s total of 182 in their allotted twenty overs. Blessing Muzarabani and Khushdil Shah picked up three wickets apiece as the Zalmi were beaten by 42 runs.
The Qalandars are coming off a loss in their previous fixture. The Sultans are unbeaten so far, and are riding with confidence. The Qalandars have to be on their toes to challenge the table-toppers on Friday.
Multan Sultans have a good balance to their side, so expect them to come out on top on Friday.
Prediction: Multan Sultans to win this game.