Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators
Wednesday 15 February, 13:00
TV: Live on Sky Sports
Multan won the ladder last season and were the best team across they batting and bowling metrics, too. But they opened with defeat against Lahore, who beat them in last season's final.
It was a narrow loss by one run and they really should hav closed out a chase of 176 with senior players like Mohammad Rizwan and Kieron Pollard losing their wicket at key times.
Possible XI: Masood, Rizwan, Miller, Khushdil, Mir, Akeal, Gul, Dahani, Ullah
Quetta have not made the play-offs for three straight seasons. But they should be at their best early on with Wanindu Hasaranga available for the first six games only. Mohammad Hafeez is a late call-up.
Possible XI: Smeed/Jacks, Roy, Ahsan, Sarfaraz, Iftikhar, Nawaz, Hasaranga, Naseem, Qais Ahmed, Naveen, Hasnain
In September eight games in a domestic T20 competition from 17 saw first-innings scores of 160 or more. That doesn't suggest a belter and perhaps Multan got bogged down against Lahore in that chase in game one because the pitch was tacky. Overs players should keep powder dry for Karachi.
How to play
Multan are 1.814/5 with Quetta 2.206/5. It's very hard to make a case for Quetta at those odds given the respective form of these sides over the last few season, even if there have been squad changes.
Rizwan is Mr Reliable for Multan and has been boosted for top bat to 11/4 by Sportsbook. But there is middle-order value, too with Khushdil toppy at 11s considering he batted at No 4 last time. For Quetta, Hasaranga was batting up the order in the ILt20 so 17/1 catches the eye.