The Pakistan Super League (PSL) is all set for another exciting encounter between the explosive Lahore Qalandars and the mighty Peshawar Zalmi.
The Zalmis kicked off their campaign disappointingly, with their batting and bowling both failing to disturb the Quetta Gladiators in their first match. Apart from Misbah Ul Haq and Kamran Akmal, none of the Peshawar batters looked comfortable. The Zalmis will be expecting their top order to fire through Kamran and Malan / Fletcher, while the experience of the big men from the Carribean, Pollard and Sammy, should also be coming to the party.
Hassan Ali and Wahab Riaz bowled well in the opening game, where Peshawar Zalmi might have found themselves a spinner short. With that being said, Sammy and the team management will be looking closely at their options before deciding the team for today.
On the other hand, Lahore Qalandars are fresh from their first win in the tournament in fitting fashion over their fierce rivals, Karachi Kings. Even though the batting was below par despite it being a tough pitch, the bowlers of the Lahore Qalandars performed brilliantly to capture the win by a good margin.
The Qalandars will be hoping that their batting lives up to their expectations with the big names of Fakhar Zaman, AB de Villiers and Anton Devcich in the ranks. Their bowling seems to be getting back on track with the youth of Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf performing outstandingly against the Kings.
Players to watch out for:
The bat of Kamran Akmal has not been at his full best at the start of the tournament despite the wicket-keeper batter getting a 49 against the Quetta Gladiators. The highest run-scorer of the tournament has a history of brutal knocks that take the game away from the opposition. Peshawar Zalmi will be hoping that the 37-year-old can give them another good start against the Lahore Qalandars.
Two consecutive failures with the bat in the tournament gives you an indication about the silence before the storm. AB de Villiers has looked out of sorts in the tournament thus far. However, the South African superstar only needs a few good hits to push himself back into the running and this will be what the Peshawar Zalmi will be fearful of. The Zalmis will be looking to get the birthday boy out early, or they might be facing the carnage of the ABD storm.
Predicted playing XI:
Peshawar Zalmi: 1. Kamran Akmal (wk), 2. Dawid Malan / Andre Fletcher, 3. Sohaib Maqsood, 4. Misbah Ul Haq, 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Liam Dawson, 7. Darren Sammy (capt), 8. Hassan Ali, 9. Wahab Riaz, 10. Umaid Asif / Ibtisam Sheikh, 11. Sameen Gul
Lahore Qalandars: 1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Sohail Akhter, 3. Anton Devcich, 4. AB de Villiers, 5. Mohammad Hafeez (capt) / Agha Salman, 6. Brendan Taylor (wk), 7. Hardus Viljoen, 8. Yasir Shah, 9. Rahat Ali, 10. Shaheen Afridi, 11. Haris Rauf
The Lahore Qalandars finally got their opening win in the tournament which might as well kick-start their campaign onto winning ways. However, the experienced middle-order of Peshawar Zalmi needs to fire tonight if there is any chance for the Zalmis to win. All in all, the odds will be in the favour of Lahore Qalandars going into the match tonight.