PSL 2018: Match 5 - Quetta Gladiators v Lahore Qalandars Preview
After defeats in their opening games, both Quetta Gladiators and Lahore Qalandars will be hoping to return to winning ways when they meet each other in the fifth game of Pakistan Super League in Dubai on Saturday.
One of the most consistent team in the history of the tournament could not find their batting combination right in the game against Karachi as they failed to chase 150. The ploy to open with Asad Shafiq has raised some concern while Shane Watson, who claimed a three-wicket haul could not replicate his momentum with the bat. With the likes of Jason Roy unavailable due to international commitment, the franchise rely heavily on Kevin Pietersen to find form on what will be his final edition of PSL. They do possess depth in the batting with Anwar Ali and Jofra Archer coming at nine and 10 but it will be the top order that will need to lay a solid foundation.
Despite having the likes of Mustafizur Rahman, Sunil Narine and Yasir Shah in their bowling ranks, they went on to concede 179 against Multan Sultans in the opening game and it proved too much to handle for the batting department despite Fakhar Zaman's 49. International stars Brendon McCullum and Cameron Delport will need to rise to the occasion in the absence of Chris Lynn while they have Anton Devcich and Dinesh Ramdin to fall back. Umar Akmal showed a glimpse of his ability during his stand with Zaman but the lack of depth in the batting meant they rely heavily on the top four to deliver if they are to go a distance in the tournament.
Head to Head Record:
The two teams have played each other four times with Quetta winning the last three encounters and having a 3-1 record against Lahore.
Battle to Watch out for:
Mustafizur Rahman v Shane Watson and Kevin Pietersen: The Fizz was the only bowler to go under six an over for the Lahore Qalandars in their opening game and he also claimed a couple of big wickets. Watson and Pietersen might have retired from international cricket but knowing Quetta's dependency on them, it might bring out their best.
Quetta Gladiators: Asad Shafiq, Shane Watson, Rilee Rossouw, Kevin Pietersen, Umar Amin, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk) (capt), Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Khan, Anwar Ali, Jofra Archer, Rahat Ali
Lahore Qalandars: Fakhar Zaman, Sunil Narine, Brendon McCullum (capt), Umar Akmal (wk), Sohail Akthar, Cameron Delport, Aamer Yamin, Yasir Shah, Raza Hasan, Shaheen Afridi, Mustafizur Rahman
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