Analysis for the match.
Match 18 of the 2023 Pakistan Super League sees Lahore Qalandars take on Quetta Gladiators at the Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday evening. The Qalandars are top of the table with four wins from their opening five games. The Gladiators are bottom of the PSL with only one win so far. Read on as we preview this match. The game gets underway at 19:00 local time.
Lahore Qalandars look on course to defend their 2022 PSL title and have been playing brilliant cricket across this competition. They should have no problem against the bottom placed side.
Quetta Gladiators were well beaten by Islamabad United in Match 13 and will need to produce their best performance of the campaign if they are to challenge the Qalandars in this game.
Must see point.
1). Lahore Qalandars are coming into this game on the back of three back to back wins and will be brimming with confidence
2). Quetta Gladiators have plenty of gaps in their lineups and it is unlikely that they'll be able to do anything about that in such a difficult assignment
3). The Qalandars undoubtedly have a better-balanced side between the two with all bases immaculately covered
Match Prediction: LHQ to win the match.
1). If LHQ won the toss and opted to bowl first, QTG could score 150-160 runs.
2). If QTG won the toss and opted to bowl first, LHQ could score 170-190 runs.
1). Fakhar Zaman total runs - over 19.5 runs.
Fakhar Zaman is the leading run scorer for the Qalandars in the tournament and he is well worth backing for their highest run scorer in Thursday’s match.
2). Martin Guptil total runs - Over 18.5 runs
Martin Guptill is 115 runs away from bringing up 9000 T20 runs and the attacking opening batter is our tip for Quetta Gladiators’ highest run scorer against Lahore Qalandars.
3). Shaheen Shah Afridi total wickets - Over 1.5 wickets.
With a five-wicket haul at this venue already in this tournament, we recommend backing Shaheen Shah Afridi to take over 1.5 wickets in this clash.
Lahore Qalandars will be led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, who will be supported by a talented squad that includes Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, and Rashid Khan. Lahore Qalandars had a solid outing in the previous season, finishing in fourth place on the points table. They seem to be building well on that as they look to build on that, apparent by their standings on the points table.
As it currently stands on the ladder, the Qalandars are placed at the top of the table, tied with Multan Sultans on points. They also have an advantage of having an extra game up their sleeve and that would allow them to retain their advantage, should they manage to register a win here too.
After scoring a terrific win over Multan Sultans in a nail-biting thriller, the Qalandars were rocked by Karachi Kings as they suffered a 67-run defeat. That defeat acted like a perfect wake-up call for the Qalandars as they displayed power-packed performances in all of their three subsequent matches. Most recently, they are coming off a massive win over Islamabad United, handing them a 110-run defeat.
Batting first on a beauty of a strip, the Qalandars batsmen wreaked havoc right from the very beginning with their middle-order carrying forward the work. Contributions right through the order ensured they put up a decent score on the board. They eventually ended up scoring 200 runs in total, which proved to be plenty. Just as it was with the bat, their bowling looked in complete control with everyone except, much to everyone's surprise, Shaheen Shah Afridi contributing. David Wiese was the pick of their bowlers as he returned with figures of 3-0-17-3.
All in all, Lahore Qalandars have a side with pretty much all bases covered. They have repeatedly notched higher than par scores and the bowlers have done immaculate job more often than not to clean up their opponents. In Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Rashid Khan, they have three of the world's best white-ball bowlers available and dealing with them is going to be challenging for all batsmen. They bat deep with Rashid Khan coming in at number eight, speaking volumes about the firepower and balance they have. If they are able to play to their potential here, getting past them is going to be next to impossible.
Quetta Gladiators are currently placed at the bottom of the points table, having scored just one win off a total of five matches played. Not only have they not managed to win, the losses they have conceded have been huge. It's pretty evident by their net run-rate as well, which currently stands at -1.977. The last time they tasted success was about a couple of weeks ago - in their second match wherein they just managed to sneak past Karachi Kings in a close encounter.
Since then, it has gone all downhill for the Gladiators and they are certain to be running low on confidence. In their most recent match, they were romped by Azam Khan's brilliance as Islamabad United handed Gladiators a 63-run defeat. Gladiators were dismal in all three departments of the game as only Mohammad Hafeez, Safaraz Ahmed, and Iftikhar Ahmed looked in a bit of control.
On paper, Quetta Gladiators have a side loaded with experience but they seem to be playing with a dated template. Despite having Jason Roy and Martin Guptill at the top, the starts they have gotten have been poor to say the least. Their middle-order has looked good, but with not enough reliability in the lower order, the likes of Hafeez, Sarfaraz, and Iftikhar have been circumspect. Bowling-wise, they lack sharpness and experience as apparent in their game against Islamabad United.
Overall, nothing seems to be working for Quetta Gladiators at the moment. They do not have a side as bad as they have done and the results have just taken away their confidence. They will now be up against one of the best sides of the competition and that is not going to be easy. Unless the Gladiators are able to play out of their skins, getting past them is going to be a very challenging affair.
Time - Mar 2nd, 07:30 pm, IST.
Venue - Gaddafi Stadium - Lahore, Pakistan
We have seen only a couple of matches played here at this venue in the tournament so far and unsurprisingly both were pretty high-scoring as far as the first innings is concerned. In three of the four innings, we saw scores of over 200 runs being scored. The weather has been perfect for Cricket so far and we expect nothing different for this game too. The surface is true with the white ball doing something only for the first couple of overs. Considering all that and the size of the boundaries here, a first innings total of around 200 would be just about par.
Once again, Lahore Qalandars were unchanged for their victory over Peshawar Zalmi in Match 15 at the Gaddafi Stadium. With Sam Billings not selected for England’s ODI tour of Bangladesh, we expect to see the same XI picked ahead of this match.Lahore Qalandars have won their last three games in the PSL 2023 and beat Islamabad United by 110 runs in their last match.
Possible XI - Fakhar Zaman, Mirza Tahir Baig, Abdullah Shafique, Sam Billings (wk), Hussain Talat, Sikandar Raza, David Wiese, Rashid Khan, Shaheen Afridi (c), Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan
19 year old opener Abdul Bangalzai, who has made only one run from his first three innings in the tournament, is expected to return to the Gladiators XI in this game in place of Jason Roy who is now in Bangladesh for England’s three-match ODI series.Quetta Gladiators won their second game of this campaign but come into this match looking to avoid their fourth successive defeat.
Possible XI - Jason Roy, Martin Guptill, Will Smeed, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Odean Smith, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Aimal Khan