Lahore fears exit in crucial PSL encounter with Multan
Peshawar and Islamabad want run away win
DUBAI: Lahore Qalandars desperately want to avoid an early exit when they meet table toppers Multan Sultans in the first of two matches, while Islamabad and Peshawar lock horn for a run away victory for a play-off position in Dubai on Friday.
Lahore have been the top flops of the first two editions as they finished fifth and last and their fortunes did not change in this year’s PSL as they have lost all their six matches.
It will be a disaster for their management as they are one of the most active franchise but their strong team on paper has proved paupers on the field.
Lahore lost to Islamabad on Thursday as they had no clue to the power hitting of Luke Ronchi’s 41-ball 77 studded with six sixes and five boundaries, failing to defend a good 164-run target.
Multan has been on a swing as they beat Peshawar by 19 runs and lost to Quetta by a narrow two wicket margin since the event came back to Dubai. A win over Lahore today will ensure Multan a place in the last four.
Multan had demolished Lahore by 43 runs in the first round match after their opponents lost their last seven wickets for just seven runs off 15 balls from a strong position of 132-3 while chasing 180.
Lahore dropped mis-firing Umar Akmal from the last match, which looked more of a disciplinary decision than a cricketing one. If they need firepower they will have to take one last chance on the maverick former Pakistan batsman.
Multan is sweating on the fitness of Junaid Khan who was rested and replaced by Umar Gul. Gul took a career best 6-24 against Quetta in a lost cause and will again be in the eleven for Lahore match.
In the second match of the day Islamabad will hope to carry their momentum on Peshawar while the title holders Peshawar will seek two points in order to get into contention for the last four.
Peshawar was hurt by the absence of their Bangladeshi trio of Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan (ruled out of PSL with injury) and Sabbir Rahman.