Lahore Qalandars to host Islamabad United in this all-important clash!
We are backing Islamabad United for the win!
Lahore Qalandars have begun Pakistan Super League 2020 with a loss to their name. Islamabad United, meanwhile, came back strongly after a loss in their first match to beat Multan Sultans comprehensively. Currently, Islamabad has risen to the 2nd spot on the points table with a net run rate of +0.381 and Lahore is stationed 6th and last in the standings with a net run rate of -1.884. The two teams will be clashing on Sunday when Lahore hosts Islamabad and both will be hoping to secure a win to get their campaign going.
Lahore lost their first match against Multan Sultans by 5 wickets and Islamabad lost their first game against Quetta Gladiators by 3 wickets. Both the teams hence have a lot of things to take care of and it will be interesting to see how things fare between them in this match.
Lahore Qalandars lost their first match of the tournament because of a poor show with the bat. After being asked to bat first, they could only put on 138-8 on the board. Barring a quickfire 39 off 19 balls by opener Chris Lynn and a composed 34 by captain Sohail Akhtar, the rest of the batting unit failed.
They do have a lot of talent. The likes of Fakhar Zaman and Ben Dunk have to give them a solid start. Then the experienced Mohammad Hafeez can show his mettle. Dane Vilas and Sohail Akhtar have the ability to provide the finishing touches. All that is on paper, though. How they perform on the day is crucial.
On the bowling front, Lahore will be dependent on young Shaheen Afridi and Usman Shinwari to deliver. Shaheen had a great spell of 1-18 in the last match and is expected to continue the same form. Another bowler to watch out will be Dilbar Hussain. That being said, Lahore's bowling does look a little brittle.
Chris Lynn, Fakhar Zaman, Ben Dunk, Mohammad Hafeez, Dane Vilas (wk), Sohail Akhtar (c), David Wiese, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Shinwari, Dilbar Hussain, Haris Rauf
Usman Khan, Sohail Akhtar, D Wiese, Muhammad Faizan, F Zaman, Chris Lynn, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hafeez, DJ Vilas, SR Patel, Shaheen Afridi
Two-time winners Islamabad United showed their class after winning their second match against Multan Sultans by 8 wickets and 20 balls to spare. Their performance in their first match of the season against Quetta Gladiators was disappointing but they made up for it with this robust victory. Islamabad was counting on their openers - Colin Munro and Luke Ronchi - to give them an aggressive start and both of them delivered in the match against Multan while chasing a target of 165. While Munro scored a superb 50 off 32 balls, Ronchi took the game away with a sparkling 75 off 45 balls.
With David Malan and Colin Ingram to follow, Islamabad has a power-packed batting now as these two can really tear any bowling apart. Asif Ali, who has a strike-rate of 194.82 in his last 10 games, can play an important part in the order too.
Islamabad's bowling is impressive. Muhammad Musa, Akif Javed, and Faheem Ashraf are all wicket-takers and have delivered. Seamer Amad Butt was the surprise package in the last game against Multan with his spell of 4-27 and he will be excitedly looked forward to now.
Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi (wk), Dawid Malan, Hussain Talat, Colin Ingram, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan (c), Faheem Ashraf, Amad Butt, Muhammad Musa, Akif Javed
Amad Butt, Luke Ronchi, Colin Munro, Musa Khan, Colin Ingram, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Ahmed Safi Abdullah, Dawid Malan, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||13||0 mm.||0.9 k/h||From: NW||14%|
|03h||17||0 mm.||0.76 k/h||From: NNW||0%|
|06h||24||0 mm.||2.12 k/h||From: NNW||0%|
|09h||27||0 mm.||2.53 k/h||From: NNW||0%|
|12h||24||0 mm.||2.66 k/h||From: NNE||0%|
|15h||17||0 mm.||1.9 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
|18h||15||0 mm.||0.69 k/h||From: SE||0%|
|21h||14||0 mm.||0.48 k/h||From: NNW||0%|
The Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore is a good T20 surface which will be nice for batting but will help the slower bowlers during the middle stages. The ball should grip at some point in the game but generally, the batsmen will make merry. The weather for the match is expected to be clear and pleasant.
The average batting score while batting first at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore is 161. However, the highest total achieved on the venue is 197-5 by Pakistan against World XI in 2017. In this game, a total of 170-180 should be a match-winning one.
Teams batting first have had better success so far in the season. Thus, the captain winning the toss is likely to bat first.
In the last 5 matches between Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United, Lahore has just won one game while losing four times. So even though they will have the home advantage in this match, Islamabad will have the edge.
For Lahore, what can work is if Chris Lynn goes berserk and Shaheen Afridi produces a masterful spell. However, Islamabad is the better all-round side. After the strong victory in the last match, they will now be bursting in confidence. Their batting and bowling unit both look impressive and another collective performance should seal the deal for them.
We are backing Islamabad United for the win!