A rained out match last night against Peshawar Zalmi was the only thing stopping the Quetta Gladiators stealing top spot from their opponents. The form of Rilee Rossouw with the bat has really been a momentum-booster who now poses a dangerous weapon in the middle-order. Fellow-teammates Ahmed Shehzad and Kevin Pietersen have really struggled to contribute runs to the side, KP in particular who has scored just three runs for the tournament including two ducks. It’s now becoming apparent that the Gladiators need to focus on team performances rather then individual efforts, Asad Shafiq and Rilee Rossouw are contributing a decent amount of runs along with captain Sarfraz Ahmed who played a match winning knock just recently. The Lahore Qalandars arn’t exactly smooth-sailing at the moment either, their captain is struggling to replicate his emphatic-stroke play from the BBL and Umar Akmal looks a completely different player from last years PSL. The prolific Brendon McCullum we all love and know is yet to show his face in the PSL, scoring just 45 runs in four games including two ducks (similar to Pietersen of the Gladiators). What gives the Qalandars the upper hand is their extremely potent-bowing attack which has produced the goods so far in the tournament. West Indian spinner Sunil Narine being the stand-out with seven wickets in the tournament so far.
Grant Elliott’s stint with the Qalandars might have come to an end for the time being after he went for another expensive spell and didn’t really fire with the bat either. Apart from that, a good all-round team performance in their last match should see the team look distinctly-similar to the one that defeated the Karachi Kings two nights ago. It’s uncertain when Jason Roy will be leaving for the West Indian ODI series, but nothing official has been announced as of yet.
Lahore Qalandars (possible) – 1. Jason Roy 2. Brendon McCullum (c) 3. Fakhar Zaman 4. Umar Akmal 5. Mohammad Rizwan 6. Grant Elliott/Cameron Delport/James Franklin 7. Sunil Narine 8. Sohail Tanvir 9. Mohammad Irfan jr. 10. Yasir Shah 11. Bilawal Bhatti.
We didn’t get to see the Gladiators bat last night, although we did see that they decided to stick with the out of form Kevin Pietersen which was a bit surprising. Luke Wright is waiting on the sidelines for his chance, and it could come at the expense of his former England teammate. Anwar Ali has taken just one wicket in his four matches, he’s been held wicket-less in three-consecutive games. That means Mir Hamza could get his opportunity to show his worth in the Gladiators if team management opt to change things up.
Quetta Gladiators (possible) – 1. Ahmed Shehzad 2. Asad Shafiq 3. Kevin Pietersen/Luke Wright 4. Rilee Rossouw 5. Mahmudullah 6. Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk) 7. Thisara Perera 8. Mohammad Nawaz 9. Zulfiqar Babar 10. Anwar Ali/Mir Hamza 11. Hasan Khan.