In-form Multan Sultans eye place in PSL 2020 finals!
Expect Multan Sultans to go through to the PSL finals!
Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi will fight it out for a place in the finals when they meet in the 1st semifinal of 2020 Pakistan Super League. Despite winning both their round-robin matches against Peshawar Zalmi, the victories in the initial stages don’t count much as Multan Sultans will have to bring their best cricket in this all-important clash.
On the other hand, Peshawar Zalmi will see this game as an opportunity to bring their A-game to the table. Captain Wahab Riaz will be hoping that the side can put on a strong show in their semifinal clash against Multan.
The franchise has surprised everyone with their performances and finished at the top spot in the round-robin stages with 14 points to their name. Sultans were handed a reality check in their last preliminary game after they suffered a comprehensive defeat at the hands of Lahore Qalandars.
In the absence of Rilee Rossouw and James Vince, the responsibility will be on the likes of wicket-keeper Zeeshan Ashraf, captain Shan Masood and Khushdil Shah to make notable contributions in this semifinal clash.
With 253 runs at an average of 31.62 for Multan Sultan this season, Shan Masood will be looking to lead from the front with the bat. Left-hander will have to make a big score for Sultans to overcome Zalmi in this semifinal contest. In the previous fixture, Masood scored 42 runs off 29 balls with the help of five boundaries. Middle-order comprising of Khushdil Shah, Ravi Bopara and Shahid Afridi will be given the task to put in big runs in the later stages of the innings.
In the last round-robin fixture, Khushdil Shah put in a splendid performance and finished the innings with the top-score of 70 runs off 29 balls with the help of five fours and five sixes. Multan Sultans have a formidable bowling attack that includes Sohail Tanvir (10 wickets), Imran Tahir (10 wickets) and Mohammad Irfan (4 wickets). Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Irfan will be keen to make early inroads with the new ball in this semifinal clash. Junaid Khan, Bilawal Bhatti and Moeen Ali have also picked up crucial wickets for the side this season.
Possible XI: Zeeshan Ashraf(w), Moeen Ali, Shan Masood(c), Khushdil Shah, Shahid Afridi, Imran Tahir, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Ravi Bopara, Mohammad Irfan, Bilawal Bhatti/ Rohail Nazir.
Wahab Riaz-led Peshawar Zalmi has been patchy after a strong start and finished its league engagements with a narrow defeat against Multan Sultans at Karachi on Friday. Peshawar Zalmi will be looking to take revenge for their earlier defeats against Multan Sultans to decide which team seals a spot in the March 18 final.
For Peshawar Zalmi, top-order has fired in fits and starts in the preliminary stages and will need to come out all guns blazing in this semifinal clash.
Wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal (Peshawar's Zalmi highest run-getter with 251 runs from 9 matches at an average of 27.88) has been the mainstay of a rather inconsistent Peshawar Zalmi batting unit and along with players like Imam-ul-Haq, Haider Ali and Shoaib Malik hold the key in Tuesday’s game.
Rookie batsman Haider Ali has put incredible performances for the side this season. He has accumulated 239 runs in 9 matches at an average of 29.87, whereas experienced all-rounder Shoaib has scored 239 runs in 8 matches with three-half-centuries to his name. Bowling has been also been inconsistent for Peshawar Zalmi so far this season.
Captain Wahab Riaz has led from the front with the ball in hand. Left-arm quick has topped the bowling charts for the side with 11 scalps to his name. Besides Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali and Rahat Ali has picked crucial wickets for the side in this year’s competition. The success of Wahab Riaz and the rest against the Multan Sultans batting line-up could very well determine the course of the match.
Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wk), Wahab Riaz (c), Umar Amin, Hammad Azam, Rahat Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Hasan Ali, Adil Amin, Haider Ali, Mohammad Amir Khan
|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%|
Gaddafi Stadium has largely has been a placid pitch this season. The bowlers have not little help from the surface. The weather conditions for the game to be played on Tuesday is going to be sunny and light winds.
Going by the head-to-head record in PSL, Multan Sultans holds the upper hand having won both their encounters against Peshawar Zalmi in the preliminary stage.
At Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Multan Sultans have managed to win only once and lost two matches. Two matches have been washed out due to heavy rains.
With the game expected to start in the afternoon, the side that wins the toss, would be keen to bowl first in this contest.
Multan Sultans will be expected to win their semifinal clash against Peshawar Zalmi. Instead of relying on star players, it has been a collective effort shown by Multan Sultans this season. From Moeen Ali to Khushdil Shah, different players have put their hand up and delivered the goods with bat and ball this season.
Multan Sultans Captain Shan Masood would be aware of the job at hand and won't take Peshawar Zalmi lightly despite their inconsistent form this season. On the other hand, Peshawar Zalmi will need to put in an excellent batting performance in order to pull off a heist over Multan Sultans.
Expect Multan Sultans to go through to the PSL finals!