Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars
Saturday 29 January 09.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Quetta bowling a problem
Multan Sultans started PSL7 from where they left off. The champions oozed class with a comprehensive dismantling of Karachi Kings, the supposed favourites.
Sultans, the best bowling unit in the competition last term, restricted a dangerous Kings line-up to just 124. Babar Azam and Mohammad Nabi produced particularly poor efforts.
Imran Tahir won man of the match with three for 16. David Willey, a late replacement signing, was economical.
Possible XI: Masood, Rizwan, Maqsood, Rossouw, David, Khushdil, Willey, Tahir, Imran Khan, Dahani, Ihsanullah
Lahore have been tricky to predict. Last term they were fifth. The year before they were runners-up. They have one of the most enviable bowling attacks in the world game.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, Rashid Khan and Haris Rauf give them a 12-over headstart. But batting has been the worry. They ranked fifth for run rate and when they have all players available they are still only coming in at No 5 on boundary percentage. New capture Fakhar Zaman needs a big tournament.
Phil Salt and Harry Brook are unavailable. So Ben Dunk and Matt Potts are replacements. David Wiese is a good signing.
Possible XI: Fakhar, Shafique, Hafeez, Sohail Akhtar, Dunk, Wiese, Ghulam, Patel, Rashid, Afrid, Rauf, Daniyal
Game one was a big trend buster with the Kings scraping together 125. It was way below par. More than 170 has been posted in 12 of the last 19 and in tenof those both teams scored 160 or more. One trend which did hold up was the toss bias. In the last 28 PSL games at Karachi, 23 have been won by the chaser. Sportsbookgo 9/5 that both teams score 160. We’re going to keep hitting that price until the pitch proves otherwise.
Sultans can chase
Multan are 1.774/5with Lahore expected to mature at 2.305/4. We can debate the merits of either price but it’s all irrelevant until the toss.
In an ideal world we’d like Sultans to chase because they are the superior outfit and then hope for a tick up in their price – it should shorten post-toss – with a few swings of the bat.
Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar have been boosted to 12/5 and 10/3 respectively for tops honours for their teams with Sportsbook. The price that stands out, though, is the 5/1 about Abdullah Shafique. He could well open the batting for Lahore.
Afridi looks a wager at 2s to oust Rashid for top Lahore bowler at 6/4. Afridi’s death bowling gives him better opportunity. Bet the player markets here.
Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators
Saturday 29 January 14.30
TV: live on Sky Sports
Kings’ poor start
Karachi looked anything but the oddsmakers’ favourites in the opener against Sultans. Their ponderous batting, particularly from Babar Azam, will have caused concern.
If they don’t fire with the bat they’re in trouble because their bowling has often been profligate. Only Quetta were more expensive in the field last season. Mohammad Ilyas, the pacer, doesn’t have much to beat for top bowler.
Probable XI: Sharjeel, Babar, Clarke, Nabi, Lammonby, Gregory, Amin, Imran, Tahar, Umaid, Illyas.
Kings’ poor start
The formbook held for Quetta, too, in their first game. Two trends were boosted when their bowlers went round the park against Zalmi as the toss bias came good.
They never looked like being able to defend 191. Even with the massive toss bias they should have at least looked capable. But not a sniff.
Openers Will Smeed and Ahsan Ali had batted brilliantly for a massive opening stand of 155 in 15.3 overs. So if they can’t win from there…
Probable XI: Ahsan, Smeed, DUckett, Iftikhar, Nawaz, Sarfaraz, Tanvir, Faulkner, Quereshi, Hasnain, Shah.
Chaser odds up
Kings are 1.54 in an early show. If that’s the way the market is thinking we may even be able to bet Quetta with the toss in their favour at decent odds.
Alternatively, we would expect Karachi’s batting to improve. This line-up is perfect for getting over their Sultan slump. They should chase anything so in-play prices of 1.804/5 or 1.9010/11 are good.
Using Rizwan’s price as a guide, might we get Babar boosted to 12/5 with Sportsbook? Here’s hoping. Babar has a win rate of 45.4% in PSL in the last two years so we’re probably playing even id he isn’t boosted. It’s not unreasonable to reckon we might get 9/4. Also look out for Illyas’s price. He returns 38.4% of the time.
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