Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars
Tuesday 23 February 14.30
TV: live on Sky Sports
Sultans so strong
Would you believe that Multan weren’t even second-favorites for this title? They are now 2.285/4 on the exchange and have two bites at getting to the final.
Sultans have lost only once. But that was against Lahore and that means this contest retains intrigue for a competition which has lost a lot of its luster due to an exodus of players.
Imran Tahir, rolling back the years, has been a constant thorn in the side of batsmen and is No 2 on the wicket-taker lists. Surprisingly, Khushdil Shah is at No 3. Shan Masood and Mohammad Rizwan have been remarkably con-sistent in setting up platforms for hitters like Tim David. David Willey has been standout too.
Probable XI: Masood, Rizwan, Rossouw, David, Azmat, Khushdil, Willey, Asif, Raes, Tahir, Dahani
No Rashid for LQ
Lahore come into this one off the back of a Super Over defeat against Peshawar Zalmi. They didn’t convince against a weakened opponent.
Perhaps it was the shock of losing Fakhar Zaman for a duck. Their Mr Consistent went off the first ball of a reply to a chase of 159 which really shouldn’t have been that challenging.
They have had a change-up in their line-up. Phil Salt has moved to open with Fakhar while Harry Brook, scorer of a sensational ton, is now at No 5.
The big news is that there is no Rashid Khan for the play-offs. He is away with Afghanistan. He leaves a significant hole in any team. His place has gone to the experienced Fawad Ahmed but it means Shaheen Afridi is batting at No 8.
Possible XI: Fakhar, Salt, Ghulam, Hafeez, Brook, Akhtar, Wiese, Afridi, Fawad, Rauf, Zaman.
The Lahore leg of the competition has been curious because what we learned from the Karachi half has been deemed irrelevant. In the first part bat dominated ball in both innings and there was a whopping toss bias for the chaser.
The opposite has been true at the Gaddafi Stadium. Ten out of 15 have been won by the team bating first. And although the first-innings average has been 178, the chaser has really struggled. In only four games have both teams passed 170 or more.
Sultans can come up
Sportsbook have gone 8/11 Multan and 11/10 Lahore. It’s a bit of a shame we’re not getting slightly bigger on Sultans but it’s hardly surprising given Rashid Khan’s absence.
Rashid took 2 for 33 in the trouncing of Sultans by 52 runs in the previous meeting and they came in consecutive balls to knock the stuffing out of the chase.
Even more extraordinary was the spinner’s figures of one for 28 off four overs in the first meeting of the season. The context was a successful pursuit of a massive 207 by Sultans.
We have plenty of hope that, if Lahore bat first, There’ll be a significant shift in odds. And with a strong start from Lahore we might get on Sultans in a choice affair. It’s a risk with the toss bias but we’d be getting chunky odds about a very good team. Exchange prices are here.
Fakhar has topped twice against Sultans this term. He is likely to prove popular for the hat-trick after he missed out against Zalmi.
Mohammad Rizwan hasn’t been quite as consistent. But he has taken a liking to Lahore’s bowlers. He took 69 off 42 balls from the attack in the win. Both Fakhar and Rizwan have been boosted to 12/5 for top respective bat by Sportsbook. Don’t discount Shan Masoodthough.
Masood is our bet at a ridiculous 33s for top Sultans series bat. He looks like being pipped at the last by Rizwan but he made 83 from 50 against Lahore.
Elsewhere David looks big at 9/1 because he could bat as high as No 4. Brook is chalked up at 6/1. Fakhar and Rizwan are both 6/1 for man of the match. Bet the Sportsbook markets here. Sportsbook markets are here.
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