Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans
Saturday 18 March, 14:00
TV: Live on BT Sports
Lahore finally sorted out their batting order when it counted in the final eliminator against Zalmi. Sam Billings, Sikandar Raza and David Wiese were all in the right slots and the trio combined to get them over the line when things could have got nervy. Hussain Talat was dropped for Ahsan Hafeez.
Probable XI: Baig, Zaman, Shafique, Ahsan, Billings, Raza, Wiese, Afridi, Rashid, Rauf, Zaman
Sultans have had their feet up since qualifying in style with a thumping 84-run win over Lahore in the qualifier. Oerseas stars Kieron Pollard, Tim David and Sheldon Cottrell were the architects of a famous win.
Probable XI: Usman, Rizwan, Rossouw, Pollard, David, Kushdil, Anwar, Usama, Abbas, Cottrell, Ihsanullah
The first-innings scores at Gaddafi Stadium (1-2 denotes match won by team batting first) this season read: 171-2/183-1/160-1/196-1/180-1/148-1/200-1/241-1. Lahore, the holders, busted 170 and 180 when they batted first against Multan earlier in the tournament. And 180 would appear to be a minimum whoever bats first.
How to play
Lahore are a curious team insofar that they have chased successfully only once. And that was against Zalmi in the qualifier. It was their fifth attempt.
Given the Gadaffi Stadium toss bias and the fact that this match has been moved forward 24 hours to beat poor weather, one has to fear for them if the flip doesn't go their way. Sultans should relish the opportunity to test Lahore in the chase.
The match odds market is wise, though, and is struggling to split the pair. Sultans are marginal 1.9420/21 favourites. Backing the bat-first team blind may be the best strategy of all.
Mohammad Rizwan has been boosted to 13/5 for top Sultans bat and he has a strong record against this attack. Pollard is 5/1 for a repeat of his effort in the qualifier. For Lahore, Fakhar Zaman is boosted to the same price as Rizwan. The 17/2 about Sikandar Raza has appeal.
Afridi is 3/1 for top Lahore bowler and should be jolly in our book. Sportsbook go 17/2 that a century is scored in first-innings.