Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators: Sultans on the charge

Faf Du Plessis
Du Plessis s unlikely to return

Ed Hawkins previews Wednesday's PSL action from Abu Dhabi and finds a whopping in-play wager...

"We'd be looking for least 33/1 in-play. Azam gives it a fearful bash and could make a late charge for Pakistan's T20 squad"

(0.25pts) Back Azam Khan top Sultans bat in-play from 34.033/1

Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators
Wednesday 16 June, 17:00
TV: live on Sky Sports

Sultans sitting pretty

Multan Sultans are on course for a play-off spot and there's no better opponent to face in the run-in than bottom-of-the-pile Quetta Gladiators.

The Sultans have won both their matches since re-start. That allied with Karachi Kings' third-successive defeat now means that qualification is in their hands. They are level on points with Karachi, have a game in hand and a superior run rate. They should open up clear water in the battle for fourth.

Last time out they swatted Zalmi aside with ease, chasing down 167 with 21 balls left. Mohammad Rizwan's 82 from 56 and Sohaib Maqsood's 61 from 31 took the headlines. But Shahnawaz's Dhani's four-wicket haul will be of keener interest.

Dhani is now the top wicket-taker in the tournament in his debut campaign. He provides vital potency and pace for a side which is fielding only five bowlers. Sultans might want to rethink Blessing Muzarabani's inclusion, though. Veteran Sohail Khan could do a job.

Possible XI Masood, Rizwan, Maqsood, Rossouw, Hetmyer, Kushdil, Tanvir, Sohail, Dhani, Imran Khan, Imran Tahir

Russell out for Quetta

Quetta produced the shock of the tournament by beating favourites Lahore Qalandars to nail their first win in part two. It was a major upset in manner, too.

Batting first Quetta's 157 never looked likely to trouble Lahore. The ball was wet and Quetta's bowling group reliably wayward. Yet the chase was never on. Lahore collapsed to 66 for seven. Lusty hitting from Tim David and last-man Haris Rauf gave a glimmer of hope but it wasn't to be.

We're unlikely to get carried away particularly as Faf Du Plessis is unlikely to return after a concussion. A week is normally the minimum time out required. There's no Andre Russel, either. He has left for West Indies T20 series.

Possible XI Weatherald, Usman Khan, Delport, Sarfaraz, Azam Khan, Nawaz, Hassan Khan, Shinwari, Zahoor, Hasnain, Khurram

Pitch report

The first-innings scores so far at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second) read: 108-2/190-2/166-2/197-1/133-2/170-1/176-1/143-2. There's a hint of a trend with 170 or more appearing to be the magic number batting first. Karachi did trump that idea when they failed to defend 190 against Islamabad. It's possible, though, that Kings can now be firmly classed in the 'unreliable' category and we should take everything they do as an outlier.

With dew around the pitch should have zip and the bowlers could lose a grip. So we're not against going with Multan busting 170 or more. Expect Quetta's bowlers to return to type and be expensive.

Sultans can chase anything

Multan are as short as 1.674/6 with Quetta 2.466/4. The market has - quite rightly - not been fooled by that upset against Lahore.

But clearly we need Quetta to get a foothold in the game if we're going to play. One option is to hope Sultans chase and Quetta lose their radar.

We'd back Sultans to get pretty much anything up to 210. And you'll get tasty numbers on that. Of course such a scenarios relies on Quetta batting well. It may be smarter to order a 1.855/6 chase for Sultans.

Tops value

Rizwan topped for us last time out and Sportsbook are taking a risk boosting him to 9/4. Kushdil Shah, however, may rate as in-play value. He's already copped at 100/1 and from a starting price of 13/1 he's going to get very big very quickly.

On the same note, we like Azam Khan at 6s for Quetta. We'd be looking for least 33/1 in-play. Azam gives it a fearful bash and could make a late charge for Pakistan's T20 squad. He'll also have to stop charge the buffet, too, though. Dhani is underrated against 10/3 for top Sultans bowler.

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