After losing the season-opener, Quetta will face Lahore tonight to find its first victory of the season. Meanwhile, Lahore would look for a back-to-back victory.
Match Timings: Feb 22, 7:30 PM IST
Former winner Quetta had a poor start to the sixth edition of Pak T20 League when they lost to defending champions with ease. After losing the crucial toss, Quetta looked pretty dull with the bat. Despiting having big guns at the top, Quetta couldn’t produce a fiery start. Captain promoted himself up in the order and got out on just 7. Gayle entertained with 24-balls 39 but regular wickets hurt Quetta. They were bowled out on just 121 in 18.2 overs. Karachi made a mockery of this chase and chased it down with 37 balls spare.
Quetta needs to focus on team-combination. Gayle is reliable at the top but Sarfaraz opened with Banton. The local middle-order may trouble Quetta and they have to look for an overseas player at the crucial phase of the game. Gayle had a decent outing with the bat and he has earlier batted at third in Indian T20 League for Punjab so Sarfaraz can continue with the same batting positions. Mohammad Hasnain bowled a catchy bowling spell with the new ball, by picking two for 18 in 4-overs. Team management can look for the local option and replace Qais Ahmed with any Pakistani player. Faf may find his place in middle-order. They are a balanced side and can deliver a comeback tonight.
Meanwhile, Lahore are coming off a comfortable victory on Saturday afternoon. They edged past Peshawar with an outstanding bowling display. Peshawar were restricted on 140 and Shaheen Afridi bagged a 3-wicket haul, conceding just 14 in 4-overs. Mohammed Hafeez played another good cameo in middle-order with an unbeaten 33 and Rashid Khan produced a cameo with 15-balls 27 to chase down the total with 9 balls spare. Lahore look like a decent T20 side and they have prominent players. Rashid will fly to UAE after two more matches so Sohail Akhtar would look to use this class player as much as he can. Fakhar Zaman and Sohail Akhtar are the good opening pair, followed by Hafeez and Ben Dunk in middle-order. Samit Patel had a tremendous season last year and helped his side to reach into the finals. Haris Rauf can join the squad in place of Daniyal. Toss will play an important role but if batting-first put more on board, chasing would be tricky. Lahore looks favourites tonight with the better team combination.
Karachi’s track is good for batting and spinners have slight help from the pitch. Pacers can trouble early with the new ball. Win the toss and bowl first – this is the ultimate winning formula on this pitch. A score of 160-170 would be a competitive total in the first innings.
Fakhar Zaman, Sohail Akhtar (c), Agha Salman, Mohammad Hafeez, Ben Dunk (wk), Samit Patel, David Wiese, Rashid Khan, Ahmed Daniyal/Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Salman Mirza
Previous Match: Won by 4 wickets vs Peshawar
Chris Gayle, Tom Banton, Saim Ayub, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Azam Khan, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Shinwari, Naseem Shah, Qais Ahmad
Previous Match: Lost by 7 wickets to Karachi
Last season – M: 13, Runs: 312, Avg: 39
Last season – M: 13, Wickets: 17, Avg: 19.53
Paksitan T20 League Career – M: 15, Runs: 302
Last outing – 39 (24)
T20Is in last one year -M: 9, Runs: 205, SR: 143.3