Lahore Qalandars will be looking to continue their winning start in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 when they lock horns against Quetta Gladiators on Monday (February 22). Eyeing their first-ever PSL title, the Qalandars kicked off their campaign with an impressive hard-fought four-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi.
While it was not a very dominating performance from the Lahore-based outfit, they did just enough to ensure they start the tournament with a win. Bowling first, the Qalandars restricted Zalmi to a modest total of 140 for 6. With the bat, they made a poor start and were reeling at 109 for 6 at one stage but eventually chased down the total with more than an over remaining.
Openers (Fakhar Zaman, Sohail Akhtar (C))
Qalandars openers Fakhar Zaman and Sohail Akhtar will have their task cut out against Gladiators’ strong bowling lineup. Mohammad Hasnain has started the tournament on a strong note and could pose plenty of problems for the openers. The likes of Naseem Shah and Qais Ahmad could also make things difficult for the Qalandars batsmen.
The Qalandars’ team-management will be hoping that Fakhar and Akhtar smother the early storm and give them a good start. Both Fakhar and Sohail will be also desperate to do well after failing to impress in the previous outing when they scored 15 and 14 respectively against Peshawar Zalmi.
Middle-order batsmen (Agha Salman, Mohammad Hafeez, Ben Dunk (wk))
Qalandars’ middle-order consisting of Agha Salman, Mohammad Hafeez, and Ben Dunk did well against Zalmi. All the three batsmen got the starts while Hafeez remained unbeaten till the end to see his team home. Salman scored 21 runs with the help of four fours while Dunk scored 22 with the help of a couple of fours and a six.
On the other hand, Hafeez remained unbeaten on 33. The Qalandars’ team-management will be hoping that the likes of Salman and Dunk do not throw away their stars like they did against Zalmi and make the most of it in the upcoming games.
All-rounders (Samit Patel, David Wiese, Rashid Khan)
With the exception of Rashid Khan, Qalandars’ all-rounders had a poor outing against Zalmi. Both Samit Patel and David Wiese failed to leave an impression in their team’s tournament-opener. With the ball, Wiese conceded 30 runs in his four overs but did manage to pick up the important wicket of veteran Shoaib Malik.
Patel, on the other hand, did not get a chance to bowl. With the bat, Patel scored 8 off 11 balls while Wiese was out for a golden duck when the Qalandars were involved in a tense chase. But unlike Patel and Wiese, Rashid made a huge impression with both bat and ball. While he did not pick any wicket, he conceded just 14 runs off his four overs. The Afghanistan star then went on to play a stunning match-winning cameo of 27 not out off just 15 balls.
Bowlers (Ahmed Daniyal, Shaheen Afridi, Salman Mirza)
Qalandars’ bowlers also had a mixed outing in their previous game as only Shaheen Afridi managed to do well. The Pakistan star was the Man of the Match for picking up three wickets for just 14 runs off his four overs. The left-arm pacer had also bowled a maiden over. However, his bowling partners Ahmed Daniyal and Salman Mirza fared poorly.
While Mirza picked up two wickets, he was expensive as he conceded 35 runs in his four overs. Daniyal, on the other hand, went wicketless and ended up giving away 41 runs in his four overs.