Lahore Qalandars v Quetta Gladiators
Thursday 2 March, 14:00
TV: Live on Sky Sports
Lahore Qalandars dished out a bad beating against Islamabad United last time out and one wonders whether a gulf is opening up with them and the Sultans. Abdullah Shafique's return to the team with runs is a boost considering Harry Brook won't be turning up.
Possible XI: Baig, Fakhar, Shafique, Billings, Talat, Raza, Wiese, Rashid Khan, Afridi, Rauf, Zaman Khan
Since Quetta were beaten by Islamabad they have lost Jason Roy and WIll Jacks. They've suffered a real player drain with Wanindu Hasaranga barred from playing by Sri Lanka. That means Will Smeed should open with Martin Guptill.
Possible XI: Guptill, Smeed, Bangalzai, Hafeez, Sarfaraz, Nawaz, Iftikhar, Smith, Qais, Hasnain, Naseem
In two matches 200 has been breached in first-innings. That fits the trend for early runs in the tournament at the venue. The bias for the side batting first also holds. On run rates, Lahore are on for a minimum 185. The par line could be low 180s for them.
How to play
It's quite right that Lahore are as short as 1.594/7 for this one. They are playing smarter and more aggressive cricket than Quetta who appear to have given up the ghost. We're not even fussed with making a case for the outsiders with the toss bias in their favour. Instead we just pray that in-play Lahore might come up a few ticks.
We return to a tried and trusted bet. Back under Martin Guptill runs at 20.5 with Sportsbook. Against Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Rashid Khan and Zaman Khan, the Kiwi has 60 runs in 66 balls with four dismissals.