Quetta Gladiators vs Lahore Qalandars PSL 2021, 23rd match
Quetta Gladiators will face an uphill battle to stay in the competition when they take on Lahore Qalandars in the 23rd match at Abu Dhabi
In their previous game, Quetta Gladiators suffered their sixth defeat of the competition. The batting once again crumbled against Peshawar Zalmi. The team management will certainly go for changes for this must-win game.
On the other hand, Lahore Qalandars have been consistent with bat and ball in this year’s competition. The franchise will need to win their next two matches to seal their place in the playoffs of the tournament.
Earlier this year, Lahore Qalandars registered a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Quetta Gladiators in a game played at National Stadium in Karachi.
The franchise dropped Faf du Plessis for the previous game to accommodate an extra bowler in Zahir Khan. The side might bring in Du Plessis into the playing XI for this contest.
For this all-important clash, the onus will be on the shoulders of senior players like Sarfaraz Ahmed, Faf du Plessis, and Cameron Delport to do the bulk of the scoring.
In the previous encounter, Sarfaraz Ahmed was the lone warrior with the bat and smashed 36 not out off 28 balls
Besides Sarfaraz, the rookie openers Saim Ayub and Usman Khan showed a lot of promise and talent against Peshawar. The duo got the side off to a decent start with a 62-run partnership
The likes of Azam Khan, Cameron Delport, and Jake Weatherald will have to contribute with the bat in this game.
In the bowling department, the onus will be on left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, pacers Mohammad Hasnain and Khurram Shehzad to make crucial breakthroughs with the new ball.
In the previous clash, Mohammad Nawaz bowled well and claimed two wickets in his four overs.
The signing of Rashid Khan has strengthened the bowling attack for Qalandars in this year’s competition. Lahore Qalandars will be keen to continue their unbeaten streak in PSL.
In the batting department, the side will be relying on opener Fakhar Zaman, wicket-keeper Ben Dunk, and middle-order batsman Mohammad Hafeez to deliver notable scores in this fixture.
Surprisingly, Tim David showed excellent form with the bat against Peshawar Zalmi. He will be keen to continue his good form in the remaining round-robin matches for Lahore Qalandars.
In the bowling department, the side will be relying on pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and James Faulkner to pick up wickets with the new ball.
Leg-spinner Rashid delivered a sensational performance against Peshawar. He bamboozled the opposition’s batting lineup with his wide range of tricks. He claimed five wickets and conceded 20 runs in his four-over spell.
Considering the traditional pitch at Abu Dhabi, the surface has been proven to be a decent bating this season. The bowlers will have to put the ball in the right areas to get wickets on this pitch. With perfect weather conditions expected for the game, expect another mouthwatering clash between the two teams.
Players to watch out for
Leg-spinner Rashid Khan has shown phenomenal form with the bat in his debut PSL season and was instrumental in helping Lahore Qalandars win their previous two matches. The team management will be hoping that Rashid Khan can continue his purple patch with the ball in the next couple of matches.
Given their head-to-head record in the Pakistan Super League, Lahore Qalandars have registered six victories, while Gladiators have come out on top on five occasions.
Lahore Qalandars have managed to win their previous four matches on the bounce against Quetta Gladiators.
Based on recent performances this season, Lahore Qalandars will start this contest as firm favorites.
With plenty of match-winners at their disposal, Lahore Qalandars will be confident of doing well in this fixture. Sohail Akhtar-led unit will be looking to stamp their authority in this contest.
On the other hand, Quetta Gladiators look out of sorts at present and will need to produce something exceptional to avoid defeat in this fixture.
Expect Lahore Qalandars to beat Quetta Gladiators and seal their place in the PSL playoffs.