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Qalandars take second shot at title in opposition to high-flying defending champions Sultans

Qalandars take second shot at title against high-flying defending champions Sultans
Lahore Qalandars aren’t used to creating it to the HBL Pakistan Tremendous League playoffs, however after they do, they find yourself taking part in the grand finale.

Within the 2020 season, they completed third within the round-robin stage earlier than shedding the ultimate in opposition to Karachi Kings on the Nationwide Stadium in Karachi.

The match was performed behind closed doorways because of the Covid-19 outbreak which pressured the match to be cut up in two phases.

This season, led by Pakistan tempo bowling spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi, the Qalandars managed the second spot within the league spherical and can play the ultimate in opposition to Multan Sultans on Sunday, after rising winners in a nail-biting Eliminator 2 in opposition to Islamabad United on Friday.

The venue, nonetheless, would be the Gaddafi Stadium right here and that too totally occupied by spectators, virtually all of whom shall be anticipated to be behind the Qalandars, their house facet.

Each groups have received as soon as every taking part in in opposition to one another on the venue this season.

The Qalandars had been triumphant in opposition to the Sultans within the round-robin stage — the previous changing into the one group to beat the defending champions this season — whereas the Sultans struck again within the Qualifier on Wednesday to make it to the all-important decider.

The Qualifier noticed the Qalandars wrestle with the bat whereas chasing and their batting line-up collapsed after they misplaced Harry Brook, and most significantly their talisman Fakhar Zaman in fast succession proper after the Strategic Timeout, taken after the thirteenth over.

By that time, Fakhar was flying excessive after launching an onslaught in opposition to the Sultans’ strike spinners Imran Tahir and Khushdil Shah earlier than pacers Shahanawaz Dahani and David Willey completed the Qalandars off.

In Eliminator 2, the Qalandars needed to battle it laborious until the very finish however this time, they regarded much less depending on in-form Fakhar, who departed within the first over.

David Wiese, who struck 27 runs to assist the Qalandars to 168-7 and prevented United from scoring the required eight runs within the final over, was the hero of the match.

Prime-order batters Abdullah Shafique and Kamran Ghulam too chipped in with essential runs to assist the Qalandars battle again after shedding early wickets. Ghulam was additionally electrical within the area and so was pacer Haris Rauf, who additionally took the all-important wicket of United’s opener Alex Hales.

The Sultans will come into the ultimate with utmost confidence, particularly after how they countered the Qalandars within the qualifier.

Almost all their prime gamers have confirmed their match-winning means throughout the match beneath Mohammad Rizwan’s inspirational captaincy. The Pakistan wicket-keeper/batter, who was named the ICC T20 Participant of the 12 months final month, has not solely shone as a pacesetter however as batter as nicely.

The correct-hander is the second-highest run-getter this season after Fakhar with 532 runs at a wonderful common of 76.00. The third within the batters checklist is Shan Masood with 459.

Sultans’ spinners Khushdil and Tahir and pacer are third and fourth and fifth, respectively within the bowling charts with 16 wickets every. Qalandars’ skipper Shaheen (17) and pacer Zaman Khan (16) are second and sixth however the Lahore outfit should do it another time with out their principal spinner Rashid Khan.

The Afghan leg-spin sensation is on worldwide obligation for the continued sequence in Bangladesh. In response to some experiences which emerged early on Saturday, the Qalandars tried to rearrange a chartered flight for Rashid to make him accessible for the ultimate earlier than the trouble fizzed out on account of apparent logistical points.

Though it was outrageous on the Qalandars’ half to even take into consideration the chance, it’s comprehensible for a group taking part in the ultimate to desire a bowler who has claimed 13 victims in 9 outings at simply 17.30.

Shaheen should depend on the extra orthodox Mohammad Hafeez, specifically with the variety of left-handers within the Sultans facet. The opposite possibility can also be a veteran in Samit Patel.

Warhorse Hafeez was distinctive with the ball within the Qualifier, conceding simply 16 in his 4 overs whereas additionally dismissing Shan. However with the bat, he stays a legal responsibility with a mean of simply above 24 in 12 innings, and will certainly be anticipated to lastly contribute when it’s wanted essentially the most on Sunday.

For the Sultans, Singaporean-Australian power-hitter Tim David is more likely to return for the ultimate after recovering from coronavirus. The large right-hander has averaged above 40 in 12 outings and scored at a strike-rate of greater than 199.

South African southpaw Rilee Rossouw additionally stays a drive to reckon with for the Qalandars’ bowling assault as he seems to complete with the HBL PSL trophy what has been a terrific season for him with the bat.

Whereas Multan Sultans journey on their highly-professional fashion, Lahore Qalandars will depend on some shiny, younger expertise, and, clearly, the roaring, jam-packed Gaddafi Stadium stands.