Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi will face each other for the third time in this year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL), but the stakes will be much higher in this match.
No team will have a lifeline anymore as the Eliminator and Qualifiers (for Finals) have now been changed to Semi-Finals, which means the winner of this match will head directly into the Finals.
Situations beyond the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) control have cut short the PSL and resulted in many foreign players heading back to their homelands.
Multan have had a great season so far and have already defeated Peshawar twice. While Rilee Rossouw and James Vince, who were two of the top batsmen for the team, have already gone back, the outfit is still lucky enough to have some other foreign players remaining in its ranks.
The Sultans’ captain Shan Masood has been in top form, and no one before the tournament would have believed that he has what it takes to bat in the shortest format of the game and lead the side along with doing so. Zeeshan Ashraf and Moeen Ali have been the other consistent batsmen for the side, while Khushdil Shah has provided some much-needed boost lower in the line-up.
Their bowling is led by Imran Tahir, Mohammad Irfan, and Sohail Tanvir, while Ali and Shahid Afridi’s spin has been really handy for the team. This has helped them become the most solid and consistent side in the tournament, and they will be going into this semi-final match red hot.
The Zalmi have been the most unfortunate team in this year’s PSL and have been badly hit by the sudden exodus of the foreign players. Their captain, Darren Sammy, was taken out of the team and was put into the coaching role mid-season and Wahab Riaz has been leading the side ever since. They will likely head into the semi-final with no foreign players and two young guns.
Even though they have a side dominated by domestic players, we saw in their previous match that their local stars are also capable of putting up a really good fight. Kamran Akmal will be under the spotlight even though he hasn’t hit the same form again this season as he did early on.
Imam-ul-Haq will be the other man who’ll be expected to perform, while Haider Ali has proven to be the rising star of the team and has a lot of expectations riding on him.
Shoaib Malik will need to carry the weight of the responsibility, and the result could tilt in Zalmi’s favor if he performs well.
While the Multan Sultans will be the clear favorites to progress to the final of the tournament, let us not forget that the Zalmi have performed well under pressure situations in the past.
Tournament: Pakistan Super League Season 5, 2020
Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
Date: 17th March 2020
Time: 2.00 PM PST onwards
Lahore’s pitch was slow and sluggish at first but has been brought to life since last week’s rain. The pitch has gotten harder and more consistent over the past few days, and we’ve seen higher scoring games in recent days.
With that in mind, the batsmen will still need to work harder as the ground is much bigger and getting boundaries is not that easy here. The weather is expected to remain clear and the small grass patches on the pitch could provide the slower bowlers and spinners some turn, which could prove to be tricky for the batsmen.
The Multan spinners will enjoy bowling on this pitch much more than the Peshawar pacers.
Where to watch the matches in Pakistan?
Multan Sultans v Peshawar Zalmi will be telecast LIVE on PTV Sports.
Live stream details
The live stream for Multan Sultans v Peshawar Zalmi will be available on Cricingiff and Cricketgateway.