Rizwan Mr Reliable for Sultans

Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars
Friday 18 June 17.00
TV: live on Sky Sports

United eye title

Multan Sultans have won all three matches since the restart and are perfectly poised for the play-offs with two games left. A win here should propel them into the sought-after second spot.

They could afford to lose and still qualify although that would require the hopeless Quetta Gladiators beating Karachi and Sultans winning their final match against runaway leaders Islamabad United.

And the Sultans know all about how inspid Quetta are. Last time out they beat them by 110 runs – the largest runs margin of victory in six editions of the PSL. Shan Masood and Johnson Charles did the damage, proving Sultans are not a one-man batting line-up with Mohammad Rizwan dismissed for 21.

Possible XI Masood, Rizwan, S Maqsood, Charles, Rossouw, Kushdil, Tanvir, Muzarabani, Dhani, Tahir, Imran Khan

Zalmi depleted

Lahore are in must-win territory after a spectacular fall from grace. They won their first two matches in part two to be installed as tournament favourites, beating Zalmi and Islamabad.

But did they believe their own hype? They have lost three in a row. Qalandars have gone from a team who looked nailed-on for a top-two finish and easy route to the final to one which will require a favour from Quetta if they lose against Multan.

The issue has been with the bat. Failure to chase 158 against Quetta and 152 against Islamabad means confidence among the batters is at rock bottom. When their bowlers had a rare off day against Karachi (conceding 176), one could sense they were beaten before they even began their innings. The top order flopped again and they only got within seven runs thanks to Aussies Tim David and James Faulkner.

Possible XI Fakhar Akhtar, Hafeez, Salman, Dunk, David, Faulkner, Rashid Khan, Afridid, Daniyal, Rauf

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: 176-1/183-1/108-2/190-2/166-2/197-1/133-2/170-1/176-1/143-2. Five out of six teams who have busted 170 have gone on to win. So with Multan’s batting strong and Lahore’s in the mire, the target for the Sultans should be clear if they get the chance to bat first.

That’s no easy task, though. Lahore have conceded 8.5 an over or more only three times in their last 11. If Lahore bat first, Multan should be confident of restricting to under 160.

Be quick on Sultans price

Sultans are 2.1011/10 for the win with Lahore 1.865/6. Clearly on current form the favourites are the wrong way round.

So there is nothing wrong with taking that Sultans price even pre-toss as a pure value call. We’d have them closer to a choice affair.

In-play what price would Mutlan be if they did manage to post that 170 mark? Probably in the region of 1.705/7 and that would also be a wager. Multan even managed to beat Lahore in the first half of the tournament when they were an inferior team.

Tops value

Rizwan took 76 of the Qalandars attack in Karachi in part one and the man of the match award – he looks primed to go well again. Sportsbook have price-boosted him to 13/5 for top Sultans bat while 4/1 is available that he top scores in the match.

An easier ‘win’ may be taking the 4/5 that he scores more than 24. He has busted that mark 15 times in his last 21 knocks.

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