Ed Hawkins scours the Betfair odds for the best bets from the second game of Saturday's PSL play-offs double header...
"It may make sense to take the outsiders for a trade and looking for all green. Zalmi have enough quality to trade as jollies for sure"
Lahore Qalandars v Peshawar Zalmi
Saturday November 14, 15:00
TV: live on Sky channel 732
Lahore miss Lynn
Lahore made it to the play-offs thanks to the batting power of Chris Lynn, who smashed 284 runs at a strike rate of 179. Alas for Lahore, Lynn does not return.
Instead they may pair Fakhar Zaman and Ben Dunk as openers. It's still incredibly destructive. Dunk had a strike rate of 186 before postponement. They also have the option of using new signing Tamim Iqbal.
They are a strong, balanced unit. In Shaheen Shah Afridii and Haris Rauf they have two gun pacers while the leggie Farzan could excite and bamboozle in equal measure.
Possible XI Fakhar, Dunk, Sohail, Abid Ali, Hafeez, Patel, Vilas, Far-zan, Afridi, Haris, Dilbar
Peshawar finished fourth in the group section and, as ever for the team which is hanging on to others' coat-tails, they will reckon themselves fortunate to still be in the hunt.
They are the team to have benefitted most from the postponement. Recognising they weren't actually very good, they revamped their squad. In come Faf Du Plessis, Yasir Shah, Hardus Viljoen, Khurram Shahzad and Saqib Mahmood, the England pacer. Out go Kieron Pollard, Liam Livingstone, Lewis Gregory and Liam Dawson.
The possible XI is not to shabby at all. Shoaib Maqsood and Imam-ul-Haq were in blistering touch in a warm-up against Multan on Wednesday. Haider Ali Khan is also in hot form after impressibe for Pakistan against Zimbabwe.
Possible XI Maqsood, Akmal, Imam, Du Plessis, Haider, Brathwaite, Wahab, Hardus, Rahat, Hasan, Yasir
2020 LQ 189-5 (Fakhar 63, Brathwaite 3-28) chased PZ 187-7 (Haider 69, Afridi 3-28)
PZ 132-7 (12-over match) defended LQ 116-6
2019 PZ 125-6 (Afridi 3-17) chased LQ 124-7
PZ 81-3 (Amin 61*, Rahat Ali 1-9) chased LQ 78 (Hasan Ali 4-15)
Overall PZ 8 LQ 2
Here are the first-innings scores (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second) from the National Stadium, Karachi before postponement: 150-2/136-2/154-1/150-2/156-2/148-2/201-1/168-2. You will spot a trend for the chaser to dominate but we're not getting too caught up with that because as well as fresh squads we have fresh pitches. The only possible reason to take a view on the toss bias might be out of respect for a trend for sides being unsure what a good score is in these circumstances.
Runs should be easier to come by and it is notable batting was easier at the start of the tournament than the end. With Multan whacking 194-3 in the warm-up against Zalmi, over 170 could be a play for the first dig. Sportsbook go 6/4 both teams bust 160.
How do Zalmi bond?
Early money has Lahore at 1.855/6 favourites. If that holds we would be surprised as it is impossible to price the teams up - as appears to have happened here - on eight-month form pre-Covid.
Zalmi are, of course, entirely unpredictable. There is no guarantee they are going to be better or smarter or more committed. It is some task to get fresh players to buy in to the a cause in a matter of days for a campaign which could be all over in a matter of hours. Remember, the loser goes home and the winner plays off against either Multan or Karachi.
Therefore it may make sense to take the outsiders for a trade and looking for all green. Zalmi have enough quality to trade as jollies for sure.
As discussed on Cricket...Only Bettor (see below), Haider Ali is a coming force for Pakistan and we would be surprised if Zalmi didn't use him in the top four. However, given such strong form from Maqsood and Imam that might not happen. Haider is into 9/2 from 5s with Sportsbook. Imam is 3/1. We await a price on Maqsood, who could well open, keeping everything crossed for 7/2.
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Ed Hawkins IPL P-L