The first match between Multan Sultans and Quetta Gladiators was an absolute ripper as we saw Rilee Rossouw write his name in the record books with an incredible unbeaten century. The two teams will meet on the pitch for the second time this Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the 25th game of the tournament.
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Sultans have been having the time of their lives in this tournament, already having five victories to their name. Their lead on the points table has almost confirmed their place in the playoffs and another victory from here will likely seal the deal for them. Quetta haven't found their footing quite yet in the tournament, and are looking to find a comfortable spot on the points table ahead of the playoffs.
The shuffle in the batting order by Shan Masood has done wonders for the table-toppers as they have become much more consistent now than they were in the initial phase of the tournament. He’s pushed himself down the order while youngster Zeeshan Ashraf has been opening the innings with Moeen Ali. Masood, Rossouw, and Khushdil Shah have been doing a good job in the middle and Shahid Afridi has shown some glimpses of returning back to form at a crucial time in the tournament.
Their bowling is rock solid with a great spin attack as Imran Tahir, Moeen Ali and Shahid Afridi have been their trump cards. Fast bowlers Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Ilyas, and Sohail Tanvir have also done a good job so far and they need to stay in form for the Karachi leg of the tournament.
Quetta Gladiators need to find stability in their batting department as their batsmen have been performing off and on. After Lahore’s stroke of luck with Ben Dunk’s performances, the Gladiators now find themselves at the bottom of the table, which is heartbreaking to see.
We know that the team is able to make comebacks, and that is exactly what fans will be expecting from the former Champions. Their previous game was disastrous and they need to get back in form or they will end up not making the playoffs for the first time since the inception of the league.
Azam Khan showed signs of being a future star in the making in the initial games but has since slipped down and out. Sarfaraz himself has been nothing less than a disappointment in this year’s tournament, and he needs to prove why he is the captain of the team before he loses that top job too.
Jason Roy and Shane Watson’s consistency has also been a huge blow to the side that has always relied on their openers to give them a big start. Ahmed Shehzad should be kept far away from the team as he has failed repeatedly in the PSL.
Mohammad Nawaz and Muhammad Hasnain started strong in the tournament but haven’t kept the consistency alive. They need to do much more for their team, while Fawad Ahmed’s inclusion has helped the spin department get back in shape.
This will be a very tough clash for the Gladiators as they risk getting knocked out of the tournament soon, and we will have to see whether they can exploit the Sultans’ weaknesses in this clash or not. For now, the Sultans are the clear favorites in this one.
Tournament: Pakistan Super League Season 5, 2020
Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
Date: 11th March 2020
Time: 7.00 PM PST onwards
Lahore has had the same good old pitch we are used to seeing for years. The ball hasn’t had too much bounce, and the pace isn’t the same as compared to the other grounds.
Many teams, such as Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans, have still managed to get a lot out of the pitch both in the batting and bowling department, and the Sultans’ expertise will help them get the upper hand with their spin army.
While the weather will hopefully stay clear, the chances of rain interruptions cannot be ruled out as we’ve had quite a few rain-affected games.
Multan Sultans: Moeen Ali, Zeeshan Ashraf (Wicketkeeper), Shan Masood (Captain), Rilee Rossouw, James Vince, Khushdil Shah, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Muhammad Ilyas, Mohammad Irfan, and Imran Tahir.
Quetta Gladiators: Jason Roy, Shane Watson, Khurram Manzoor, Azam Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed (Captain & Wicketkeeper), Ben Cutting, Mohammad Nawaz, Sohail Khan, Fawad Ahmed, Mohammad Hasnain, and Zahid Mehmood.
Where to watch the matches in Pakistan?
Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators will be telecast LIVE on PTV Sports.
Live stream details
The live stream for Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators will be available on Cricingiff and Cricketgateway.