Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings lock horns in a mouthwatering semi-final!
Lahore Qalandars to qualify for their maiden PSL finals!
In the second semifinal of 2020 Pakistan Super League, Lahore Qalandars will lock horns with Karachi Kings at Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on Tuesday.
Lahore Qalandars will have an advantage over Karachi Kings as they know the conditions at Gaddafi Stadium. Captain Sohail Akhtar will be hoping that the side can field their strongest XI for this knockout contest. Consistency with bat and ball is going to be the key for Lahore Qalandars if they aim to secure their place in the finals of the competition.
On the other hand, Imad Wasim-led Karachi Kings lost to Quetta Gladiators in their final round-robin game on Sunday but will have another golden opportunity to reach their maiden PSL final.
Lahore Qalandars defeated Shan Masood’s Multan Sultans on Sunday by a comprehensive to set up a semifinal clash with Karachi Kings on Tuesday. Bowling will be a cause of concern as the side once again conceded way too many runs in the last five overs of the innings. Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez delivered impressive performances with the new-ball.
Medium-pacer Dilbar Hussain and Haris Rauf were on the expensive in the game played against Multan Sultans. The duo conceded close to 90 runs in six overs between them. Qalandars might bring in Usman Shinwari into the playing XI for this contest.
For Lahore Qalandars, Shaheen Afridi has been the standout performer with the ball this season. With 13 wickets at an economy rate of 7.02, the onus will be on Shaheen to provide early breakthroughs with the new ball. Samit Patel, Mohammad Hafeez and David Wiese have also done a decent job for the side in this year’s tournament.
The big positive from the last round-robin match was Chris Lynn finding form with the bat for Lahore Qalandars. In a must-win game against Multan Sultans, Lynn delivered a scintillating batting performance and notched up his maiden ton in PSL.
Chasing 188 runs for victory, Chris Lynn and Fakhar Zaman got the side off to a perfect start and added 100 runs in the initial set of overs. Fakhar Zaman played well and scored 57 runs off 35 balls with the help of seven boundaries.
Lynn added another 91-run partnership with Captain Sohail Akhtar to see Qalandars complete the chase in the penultimate over. Lynn smashed unbeaten 113 runs off 55 balls with the help of 12 fours and 8 sixes. Sohail Akhtar, Ben Dunk, Samit Patel and Mohammad Hafeez have also chipped with match-winning contributions for Lahore Qalandars this season.
Sohail Akhtar (c), Fakhar Zaman, Chris Lynn, Ben Dunk (wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Samit Patel, David Wiese, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Raja Farzan, Dilbar Hussain
Imad-Wasim led unit performed well in the preliminary stages and finished second in the league table with 11 points to their name. In the dead rubber played at Karachi, Kings put in a lackluster performance to lose to Quetta Gladiators. This defeat wouldn’t count much now as Kings take on Qalandars in the semifinals of the competition.
For this semifinal, Kings will rely on their in-form openers Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam to do the bulk of the scoring for the side. The duo got runs have put in match-winning performances for Kings this season. Certainly, Kings will be hoping that the openers can come up with big scores in this all-important game.
This season, Babar Azam and Sharjeel Khan have scored 345 and 199 with averages of 49.28 and 24.87 respectively. Skipper Imad Wasim has put in decent scores for the side with the bat this season. With one half-century, he will be looking to put in a crucial score against Lahore Qalandars. His bowling has not been that effective as the surfaces in PSL have offered little or no assistance for the spinners. Wicket-keeper batsman Chadwick Walton and Cameron Delport are quality T20 players that can change the complexion of the game in a space of few overs.
In the previous game, Cameron Delport put in splendid batting performance and finished the innings with the top-score of 67 runs off 44 balls with the help of five boundaries and two sixes. He was well supported by Walton, who chipped in with 26 runs off 20 balls with the help of two boundaries.
In the bowling department, the likes of Mohammad Amir, Chris Jordan and Umaid Asif will be looking to make crucial breakthroughs with the new ball. Arshad Iqbal and Imad Wasim are other bowling options for the side for this knockout game.
Mohammad Amir, Chadwick Walton (wk), Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Babar Azam, Umaid Asif, Sharjeel Khan, Imad Wasim (c), Iftikhar Ahmed, Usama Mir, Arshad Iqbal
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||14||0 mm.||1.27 k/h||From: NNW||0%|
|03h||18||0 mm.||1.07 k/h||From: NW||0%|
|06h||25||0 mm.||2.82 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
|09h||27||0 mm.||3.7 k/h||From: NW||0%|
|12h||25||0 mm.||2.51 k/h||From: N||10%|
|15h||18||0 mm.||0.19 k/h||From: NNE||4%|
|18h||17||0 mm.||1.21 k/h||From: WSW||2%|
|21h||16||0 mm.||1.25 k/h||From: NNE||24%|
With clear skies expected for the day-night fixture, the pitch is expected to remain the same throughout the duration of the game. The semifinal is expected to be a run-fest as bowlers will have to work hard on such a docile pitch.
It is to be noted that Lahore Qalandars have managed to win four games on the bounce at Gaddafi Stadium. Lahore Qalandars have the advantage as they have beaten Karachi Kings at Lahore in the round-robin stage of the competition.
On the other hand, in their last meeting, Karachi Kings thrashed Lahore Qalandars by 10 wickets in a game played at Karachi.
The side that wins the toss, would be looking to bat first on this pitch and put pressure on the opposition. With the pressure and hype of a knockout game, no team would want to chase a target close to 200 runs.
After analyzing both the teams, Lahore Qalandars will be favorites to win their semifinal game against Karachi Kings. With the side well-acquainted with the pitch conditions at Gaddafi Stadium, Qalandars will have the upper hand going into this knockout clash. With the likes of Chris Lynn delivering blistering innings and likes of Shaheen Afridi raising his game with the ball, Lahore would be looking to deliver another clinical performance in front of home crowds.
On the other hand, Premier players like Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim will need to come to the party if Kings aim to upstage Qalandars.
Lahore Qalandars to qualify for their maiden PSL finals!