Man of the Match: SR Watson
Quetta Gladiators to win
Our Prediction is Quetta Gladiators to win!
Quetta Gladiators will be eager to extend their lead at the top of the points table when they will lock horns with Multan Sultans in the 8th game of Pakistan Super League (PSL) at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Unlike the previous editions of the PSL, Quetta Gladiators have got off to a perfect start and have already produced back-to-back victories to go top of the league table. Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed will be hoping that Gladiators can continue their good form against Multan Sultans.
On the other hand, Multan Sultans made a superb comeback in the previous game and beat Islamabad United by five wickets. Skipper Shoaib Malik will be pleased with the way side responded in the game against Islamabad United. Sultans will be keen to improve their game with the bat against Quetta Gladiators.
Shoaib Malik and co. will be keen to turn their fortunes around in the competition. In their previous match, bowlers produced a disciplined performance to setup a comfortable win for Multan Sultans.
There seems to be over-reliance on Captain Shoaib Malik to do bulk of the scoring in the games played so far this season. Malik is currently leading the way with the bat and scored 83 runs with one half-century to his name. In the previous game, Malik chipped in with unbeaten 31 runs off 29 balls to see Multan register their first win of the competition.
West Indies opener Johnson Charles perished for a duck in his first game for the franchise. He will be keen to get some runs in this game. Opener Shan Masood has looked in decent touch with the bat and scored 26 off 20 balls with the help of four boundaries. Left-hander will be determined to make an impression with the bat for the side in this game.
England’s Laurie Evans has also produced decent scores for the side in the two matches played. He has looked busy at the crease and kept the scoreboard ticking in the middle overs of the innings.
In the bowling department, rookie medium-pacer Ali Shafiq produced a splendid effort against Islamabad United. He picked up two wickets in the game and conceded below three runs an over in his four-over spell. Left-arm quick Junaid Khan and veteran leg-spinner Shahid Afridi also picked up two wickets apiece.
Shoaib Malik (c), Johnson Charles (wk), Shan Masood, Laurie Evans, Hammad Azam, Shahid Afridi, Andre Russell, Mohammad Irfan, Chris Green, Junaid Khan, Ali Shafiq.
Shan Masood, Nauman Ali, James Vince, Mohammad Irfan, Ali Shafiq, SMSK Afridi, Shakeel Ansar, Andre Russell, Laurie Evans, Shoaib Malik, DT Christian
Quetta Gladiators got off to a flying start with two wins in a row, and will be looking to keep their perfect start intact.
In their previous game, Gladiators registered comfortable seven-wicket win over Islamabad United in Dubai on Sunday.
In the batting department, Opener Shane Watson and middle-order batsman Umar Akmal have scored most of the runs for the side so far. Akmal is franchise’s leading-run scorer with 119 runs at an average of 119.00 with one half-century to his name.
Watson also produced a match-winning performance with the bat and scored unbeaten 81 runs off 55 balls to steer his side to victory. He was well supported by Akmal, who chipped in with 44 runs off 28 balls.
Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has also contributed with crucial scores in the two games played so far this season. Opener Ahmed Shehzad’s poor run of form continued in the previous game after being dismissed for a low score. Quetta will be hoping that he can turn things around with the bat in the next couple of the games.The side has quality players in the batting lineup as Rilee Rossouw and Dwayne Smith will be keen to score runs in this game.
In the bowling department, medium-pacer Sohail Tanvir was the standout performer with the ball in hand. He made early inroads with the new-ball to put Gladiators take control of the game. He was well supported by the likes of Fawad Ahmed and Mohammad Nawaz, who produced economical spells for the side.
Sarfaraz Ahmed (c &wk), Rilee Rossouw, Shane Watson, Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad, Dwayne Smith, Mohammad Nawaz, Sohail Tanvir, Ghulam Mudassar, Mohammad Irfan Junior, Fawad Ahmed.
RR Rossouw, Ghulam Mudassar, SR Watson, S Tanvir, Mohammad Irfan Jnr, Fawad Ahmed, Sarfraz Ahmed, Dwayne Smith, Umar Akmal, Ahsan Ali, Mohammad Nawaz
Traditionally, the wicket at Sharjah does tend to favor the spinners. The batsmen will have to work hard for their runs. The weather forecast for the game on Wednesday is going to be clear skies.
Sharjah Cricket Stadium will host its first game of the competition this season. The average score at the ground is around 130 runs.
Both the teams will be keen to win the toss and bat first on this surface. It does tend to slow down considerably in the second half of the game.
Quetta Gladiators will certainly be favorites to win this game.The franchise has quality players in their batting lineup. Multan Sultans will need to bat well in order to compete against Quetta Gladiators in this game.
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