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Can Lahore Qalandars get over the line?

The PSL 6 saw Lahore Qalandars making headlines yet again. This time not because of their defeats but because of their power-packed performances. The last year
runners up currently stand on the fourth spot, securing three wins from four matches.

The Qalandars had their most incredible victory against their arch-rivals Karachi Kings when they had to chase down a mammoth total of 187 runs. The Kings had almost pulled off a victory but it was David Wiese’s blitz in the end which took Lahore over the line. On the other hand, the Qalandars lost against Multan Sultans in the Punjab derby.

The man in green will be led by Sohail Akhtar who changed Lahore’s fate after taking over the captaincy.

Mohammad Hafeez will be the backbone of Qalandar’s batting lineup who is having a purple patch in the T20 arena. He hammered 181 runs in 4 games at an impressive strike rate of 175.73.

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Fakhar Zaman is another key player whose form will be vital to Qalandar’s chances. The left-handed batsman had smashed 189 runs in Karachi leg. His consistency and hunger to score runs in the Abu Dhabi leg can further cement his place in Pakistan’s T20I side.

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Pakistan’s elite pacer Shaheen Afridi will spearhead the bowling attack. The presence of one of the leading fast bowlers around the globe in Qalandar’s bowling attack will certainly be the biggest challenge for the opposition. Taking 9 wickets at an average of 12.55 in the Karachi leg shows what he can offer for the Qalandars in the Abu Dhabi leg.

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The toe-crushing twins Haris Rauf and Dilbar Hussain can dismantle the stumps with their fiery pace and incredible accuracy. Having these two as wicket-taking options in the middle and death overs can cause a headache for the opposition batsmen.

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Image Courtesy : PCB

Lahore will be satisfied with their overseas picks with Rashid Khan dominating the scene. The 22-year old spin wizard is one of the most demanded players in the leagues. The magician will be ready to win matches for Lahore with the ball and the bat. The management will be overjoyed to see that their spin attack on Abu Dhabi tracks will be led by one of the best in the business.

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Ben Dunk who has become a household name and emerged as a dependable middle-order batsman for Lahore will be raring to unleash his gigantic hits.

The 25-year old Singaporean batsman Tim David will open a variety of options for Qalandars. Callum Ferguson, who smashed tons in Big Bash League and T20 Blast can strengthen the top order.

The famous Australian all-rounder James Faulkner, who was the Player of the Match in the World Cup 2015 final, will be available for Lahore Qalandars. Having taken 80 wickets in his BBL career, the 31-year old will be keen to use his experience to win matches for Lahore. The Sri Lankan spinner Seekuge Prasanna and Emirati cricketer Sultan Ahmed will further boost the spin attack.

Lahore Qalandars have a young local lot, mostly dominated by their player development players. The stylish left-handed batsman Zeeshan Ashraf will be keen to become an automatic choice in playing eleven with his performances. While Agha Salman will be hopeful of converting his starts into match-winning innings. Moreover, Zaid Alam can be another exciting inclusion as an opener.

The spin all-rounder Muhammad Faizan can provide balance to the squad. Meanwhile, Maaz Khan will be wishing to use his learnings on the field.

The emerging Ahmed Daniyal who was impressive with his pinpoint yorkers can yet again be part of Qalandar’s potent pace attack in the Abu Dhabi leg.

Lahore Qalandars will miss the services of Joe Denly, David Wiese, Joe Burns, Samit Patel, Shakib ul Hasan and Tom Abell.

Lahore Qalandars have a deadly bowling attack, however, their batsman must show responsibility and their development program players should now show their talent through consistent performances.

 

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