Lahore Qalandars will host Multan Sultans later tonight in the third match of the Pakistan Super League 2020, second header for the day (Friday) at the Gadaffi Stadium. The teams will be eager to improve from their showing in the last season as the entire PSL season for the first time will be played in Paksitan.
Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars in the PSL 2019 had suffered the disappointment and frustration of finishing in the fifth and sixth positions respectively. Being the weakest links in the six-team Pakistan Cricket Board-owned PSL, Multan and Lahore in head on head encounters have been on a par as both have scored two wins each from their four matches.
Eyeing an upswing in their fortunes, the Qalandars and Sultan have entered the fifth season of the PSL under new captains. Multan Sultans have replaced old warhorse Shoaib Malik with Shah Masood. Lahore Qalandars this year will be led by unheralded Sohail Akhtar in place of Fakhar Zaman.
However, the significant change this year is that both the teams will be in the arena with new captains. While the Qalandars have brought in little-known Sohail Akhtar as skipper, replacing dashing opener Fakhar Zaman, the Sultans have replaced Shoaib Malik with Shan Masood who is otherwise not a T20 specialist.
The Qalandars feature Pakistani players like Mohammad Hafeez, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Salman Butt in their line-up. Sultans in their ranks have seasoned pros like BoomBoom Shahid Afridi, dangerous T20 bowler Sohail Tanvir, Junaid Khan and Muhammad Irfan.
While a keen contest is on cards between the teams, determined to make a mark in the league, weather may play spoilsport. Weathermen have predicted heavy shower in Lahore on Friday.
Lahore Qalandars: Sohail Akhtar (c), Shaheen Afridi, Jaahid Ali, Salman Butt, Ben Dunk (wk, AUS), Mohammad Faizan, Mohammad Hafeez, Dilbar Hussain, Chris Lynn (AUS), Samit Patel (ENG), Seekkuge Prasanna (SL), Farzan Raja, Haris Rauf, Usman Shinwari, Dane Vilas (wk, SA), David Wiese (SA), Fakhar Zaman.
Multan Sultans: Shan Masood (c), Moeen Ali (ENG), Shahid Afridi, Fabian Allen (WI, from March 7), Zeeshan Ashraf, Bilawal Bhatti, Ravi Bopara (ENG), Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Wayne Madsen (ENG, until March 7), Rohail Nazir (wk), Rilee Rossouw (SA), Usman Qadir, Ali Shafiq, Khushdil Shah, Imran Tahir (SA), Sohail Tanvir, James Vince (ENG).
The match scheduled to start at 7:30 will be broadcast LIVE on Discovery Network-owned DSport. The match will also be streamed live on multi-sport aggregator application SportsTiger, which is available for download on Google Play Store.