Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans: Don't be afraid of big odds on the chaser

Mohammad Hafeez
Hafeez is in the form of his life

Ed Hawkins previews the first of Friday;'s Pakistan Super League double-header from Karachi and find a top bowler wager...

"Sportsbook have not listed previous 7/4 jolly Rashid Khan for top Lahore bowler. But Afridi's price holds at 5/2. Shouldn't he be Rashid's price?"

(1pt) Back Shaheen Shah Afridi top Lahore bowler Sportsbook 3.505/2

Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans
Friday 25 February 10.00
TV: live on Sky Sports

Rashid a doubt

Lahore are two from two, although they made heavy going of getting past Quetta last time out. The most feared bowling attack in the tournament went round the park. This after their batting had a bit of a wobble against Zalmi.

Against Quetta they were guilty of sloppy fielding, giving Chris Gayle a life or two. So they conceded a whopping 178. It was no sweat for the batters, though. They lost only one wicket as cool hand Mohammad Hafeez guided the chases perfectly, hitting 73 from 33. At 40, Hafeez is in the form of his life.

Rashid Khan is a major doubt with a hand injury so Dilbar Hussain could come back into the side as Lahore go all-pace.

Possible XI Fakhar, Sohail, Hafeez, Salman, Dunk, Patel, Wiese, Rashid, Daniyal, Shaheen, Rauf.

Multan slump

Multan are on a terrible run. After winning the ladder season last term they looked poised for the title. But the pandemic knocked the stuffing out of them. They have now lost five in a row.

It is true that in this edition they have had to twice defend at a venue with a heavy toss bias. But in game one against Islamabad they had the game won before losing their grip. And against Peshawar Zalmi they amassed 193. And they didn't even take it to the last over.

They are famous for being smarter than most teams because of their reliance on analysts. There must be a glitch on the computer, though. They desperately need to chase to get their confidence back up.

Possible XI Rizwan, Lynn, Vince, Maqsood, Rossouw, Khushdil, Afridi, Brathwaite, Tanvir, Qais, DHani

Pitch report

All six matches so far at the Karachi National Stadium in this PSL have been won by the chaser. So it is now 14 wins in the last 16 for the chaser. Runscoring is getting easier, though. Some big scores have gone up this week. Two in the 190s and one in the 170s. More than 160 has still only been busted seven times in 18. The market hasn't been as quick to catch on. Zalmi were outsiders against Multan post-toss.

Keep betting chaser

Lahore are 1.804/5 and Multan 2.1211/10. Really on the toss this should be a choice affair. If those odds were to hold -m, and we're not convinced there will be a massive chunk coming off, Multan would rate as a wager as outsiders.

With big totals taken down by the chaser it is clear that dew is a factor in these games. So we'd be prepared to be with Multan at something chunkier having conceded 170 or more. Likewise Lahore, of course. Multan have been shaky in the field and although we don't rate their chances of big runs against this Lahore attack, we'd like 1.9010/11 or better Lahore in a chase.

Tops value

Sportsbook have not listed previous 7/4 jolly Rashid Khan for top Lahore bowler. But Afridi's price holds at 5/2. Shouldn't he be Rashid's price? This could be the best bet of the game.

On the top bats, Sohail Akhtar is into 7/2 after Sportsbook made a rick pricing him at 8s. He should retain his opening berth but he is now the right price. We always like to mention Khushdil Shah. He's very dangerous so the 12/1 has appeal.

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