- Lahore Qalandars went down by 28 runs against Islamabad United on Saturday.
- The Sohail Akhtar-led side all set to take on bottom-placed Quetta Gladiators in match 23 of the Pakistan Super League 6 today.
- For Gladiators, a defeat can possibly oust them from the league.
Karachi: A confident Lahore Qalandars will be aiming to bounce back from the defeat they faced at the hands of Islamabad United in the last game as the Sohail Akhtar-led-side will take on bottom-placed Quetta Gladiators in match 23 of the Pakistan Super League 6 today.
Lahore Qalandars went down by 28 runs against Islamabad United on Saturday after first reducing them to 20/5 and then being at 86/2 in 10 chasing 153. Lahore was bowled out for 124 after its middle-order collapsed.
The defeat may be an eye-opener for Lahore’s head coach Aqib Javed and captain Sohail Akhtar but the side is not going to get panicked and unlikely to make any changes against already under-pressure Quetta Gladiators.
Led by Sarfaraz Ahmed, the former champions have just one out of their seven games in the tournament so far and another defeat can possibly oust them of the contention to qualify for the play-offs.
They will be, undoubtedly, under pressure as their batting and bowling have been disappointing. After being outclassed by Islamabad United in the first outing in Abu Dhabi, they were overpowered by strong Peshawar Zalmi’s side.
They are also aware of the fact that Lahore Qalandars had chased the target of 179 comfortably for the loss of just a wicket when the two sides met earlier for the first leg of the encounter in Karachi. Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez scored a half-century for the side.
While Hafeez’s current form may be a cause of worry for Sohail Akhtar, he must be encouraged to see Fakhar Zaman back in runs. And, nevertheless, Lahore will be banking on its strong bowling line – arguably the best and strongest in the tournament
With the likes of Rashid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and James Faulkner in the ranks, Qalandars have nothing to worry about the bowling and if the batting doesn’t collapse as it did against Islamabad earlier, the greens are clearly favourites against the purples tonight.
Players to watch: James Faulkner, Ben Dunk (Lahore Qalandars), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Naseem Shah (Quetta Gladiators).
Lahore Qalandars: Sohail Akhtar (c), Ahmed Danyal, Ben Dunk, Callum Ferguson, Dilbar Hussain, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, James Faulkner, Maaz Khan, Mohammad Faizan, Mohammad Hafeez, Rashid Khan, Salman Ali Agha, Seekuge Prasana, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sultan Ahmed, Tim David, Zaid Alam and Zeeshan Ashraf
Quetta Gladiators: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Abdul Nasir, Andre Russell, Arish Ali Khan, Azam Khan, Cameron Delport, Faf du Plessis, Hassan Khan, Jack Wildermuth, Jake Weatherald, Khurram Shehzad, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Usman Khan, Usman Shinwari, Zahid Mahmood and Zahir Khan