Ed Hawkins previews game two in the global franchise tournament and he reckons the Pakistan side have been underrated in Raipur on Saturday
"Lahore have won 19 of their last 22 domestic T20 matches so any suggestion they are mugs should be dismissed"
Lahore Lions at 3.052/1
Mumbai Indians v Lahore Lions
Start time: 15.30 BST
The holders will be without their captain Rohit Sharma who has more injuries than the cast of a hospital drama. A fractured finger and a shoulder problem have been diagnosed. That leaves Mumbai short on batting. In the IPL they struggled with the willow until they made reinforcements in the form of Lendl Simmons. Simmons is available but Sharma's absence is a significant blow with pressure being added to the shoulders of Mike Hussey and Ambati Rayudu. In IPL, Mumbai's scoring rate was 7.29 until the final game against Rajasthan - the lowest of all sides. No side hit fewer fours and they were third bottom in the table of most sixes. Kieron Pollard will lead the side.
Lahore become the third Pakistan side to compete in the CLT20 after their visas were issued. Previously Faisalabad Wolves and Sialkot Stallions took part but failed to qualify. Lahore, who aren't given much chance of getting into the next stage, have six internationals, including captain Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad. Wahab Riaz is a doubt to travel after his baby daughter was taken unwell. Hafeez is not concerned that the ban on Pakistan cricketers taking part in IPL will hinder his team's chances. "For the last five-six years, the Pakistan players are not playing and we are missing that as cricketers but I don't think it is in any way affecting Pakistan cricket because the talent is always there. We are still No. 3 in this format in the world. So our performance is always great in that form."
There have been only two IPL matches played at Raipur, producing first-innings scores of 164 and 136. It would be a surprise if it was a batting paradise as the recent matches at the ground have produced some low scores indeed.
Lahore have won 19 of their last 22 domestic T20 matches so any suggestion they are mugs should be dismissed. The match odds suggest otherwise. Mumbai are as skinny as 1.4640/85 with Lahore 3.052/1. We don't believe the gulf in class between the sides is that big and would chalk up the Pakistan side at around 2.707/4. On that basis (the only basis), we have to bet them. In the long run, taking value will pay off. It might not on this occasion but there is other reasoning behind the selection. Mumbai have shown to be sloppy starters and are not at full strength. The weather could also play a part. Thunderstorms are forecast and any reduction in overs would greatly help Lahore.
Wahab will be a big loss, of course, as he had an economy rate of just 3.50 last season. Aizaz Cheema was the top wicket-taker, though, with 11 and Hafeez is considered an all-rounder with crucial overs. Adnan Rasool, with 35 career wickets, is a threat, too but we have to be wary as to whether the Lions have the support bowlers to upset Mumbai. Asif Raza has a career economy rate of more than ten. The worry about the Lions is that for 16 overs they can keep things reasonably tight before losing their way. The same can be said with the bat. At five down they have little left in the hutch. This is when Lasith Malinga could expose Lahore's relative inexperience in T20. But That's why we make them 2.707/4.
Simmons finished as Mumbai's top bat in IPL despite playing nearly half the number of games. From just eight innings he managed 394 runs at 56 as he almost single-handedly transformed their campaign. Expect Simmons to open with Hussey. Corey Anderson, the Kiwi, is at No 3. Rayudu could bat at No 4 followed by Pollard. Hussey, now 39, disappointed in IPL managing only nine games and an average of 23.
Jamshed should open the batting with Shehzad followed by Hafeez at No 3. Jamshed had a poor season domestically, scoring 116 runs at 19. Shehzad and Hafeez were more reliable with 171 at 28 and 152 at 38 respectively. Indeed, Shehzad is their star man and has more runs than anyone for Lahore over the last few years. Saad Nasim could be worth a nibble. He scored vital runs at No 5 and bats above Umar at No 6. Umar is a gifted strokemaker but is wasted down the order. He needs to be promoted.
Back Lahore Lions at 3.052/1
Ed Hawkins 2014 P/L
Based on £10 per recommended bet: £402.40