Quetta Gladiators face tough Lahore challenge today

By our correspondent

KARACHI: Following a poor show in their opener against holders Karachi Kings on Saturday Quetta Gladiators will be looking to show grace when they will take on Lahore Qalandars in their second round fixture of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 here at National Stadium on Monday (today). 

The match starts at 7pm. Quetta, being led by Sarfraz Ahmad, failed to click both with the bat and ball against Kings which showed great class in every department of the game.

Quetta were folded for 121 and Kings achieved the target with 37 balls to spare after losing three wickets. It was surprising that Quetta did not play leggie Zahid Mahmood who had made dream T20 debut against South Africa recently. Afghan leggie Qais Ahmad was preferred over him at the last minute and he conceded 43 runs in three overs. The pitch had life for pacers but most of the Gladiators fast bowlers could not keep tight line and length and bowled mostly short-pitched deliveries which were punished by English wicket-keeper batsman Joe Clarke and Mohammad Nabi of Afghanistan. Hasnain was the only bowler who showed maturity, taking 2-18 in his quota of four overs.

In batting only Chris Gayle (39) remained impressive. This was also the lowest total of Quetta against Kings in the PSL history.

Quetta will have to make solid selection if they are to prevail over Qalandars which are the strongest side of the event.

Meanwhile Qalandars will enter into this game with  great confidence which they have achieved through their four-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi on Sunday in the day-game.

Their bowlers including frontline pacer Shaheen Afridi and the world’s leading T20 leggie Rashid Khan showed to the oppositions on Sunday that it would not be easy to punish them. Their left-armer Salman Mirza, who made his PSL debut, also showed great promise as he bowled tightly against Zalmi’s experienced batting line-up. However it is expected that Lahore would bring in their key bowler Dilbar Hussain as he was left out on Sunday due to injury.

Hafeez showed great responsibility and his anchor-sheet role would help Lahore notch more achievements.

Lahore are the best side of this event, having depth and are expected to do something great again in the event.

Quetta Gladiators: Abdul Nasir, Anwar Ali, Arish Ali Khan, Azam Khan, Ben Cutting, Cameron Delport, Chris Gayle, Dale Steyn, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Qais Ahmad, Saim Ayub, Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Tom Banton, Usman Khan, Usman Shinwari, Zahid Mahmood, Hassan Khan.

Lahore Qalandars: Ahmed Danyal, Ben Dunk, David Wiese, Dilbar Hussain, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Maaz Khan, Mohammad Faizan, Mohammad Hafeez, Joe Denly, Rashid Khan, Samit Patel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Akhtar, Tom Abell, Salman Ali Agha, Zaid Alam, Zeeshan Ashraf

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