Cricket: Pakistan Super League Final Preview

Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars 

Pakistan Super League Final, January 27

Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore

(2.30pm UK)

Multan Sultans and the Lahore Qalandars. Teams one and two after the group stage. 

This is a clash between the Sultans’ dominant batting unit and the Qalandars’ exceptional bowling attack, both spearheaded by Pakistan stars Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood and Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf respectively.

For England fans, there is also plenty of home interest. The Sultans have David Willey in their side, while the Qalandars have Harry Brook, Samit Patel and Phil Salt in their ranks. New Yorkshire coach Ottis Gibson is also the Sultans’ bowling coach. 

The Sultans have won one title already – last year – while the Qalandars have now reached two PSL finals without tasting success.

But it could have easily been different for the latter following yesterday’s semi-final Eliminator clash against Islamabad which they won by six runs defending a target of 169.

With three overs remaining, Islamabad need 22 with four wickets left, only to let it slip and send a packed home crowd wild.

It was the type of win which screams, ‘Lahore’s name is on the trophy’, and I will be siding with them, as I’ve done right from the start – bet365 have them at 6/5 to win on Sunday.

Haris Rauf Player Performance mark has appeal 

The Pakistan fast bowler, soon to be a Yorkshire overseas player, had a night to remember yesterday in helping his side see off Islamabad.

He claimed two wickets, took two catches in the deep and bowled an excellent penultimate over when conceding only nine runs.

The Player Performance market catches the eye here with him priced up at over 20.5 points at Evens with bet365.

They offer 20 points per wicket, 10 points per catch and a point a run. Yesterday, he notched up 50 points and has cleared the 20.5 mark on six occasions out of 12.

I think it is worth siding with a player whose confidence will clearly be high.

Pressure of final could scramble minds

Finals cricket can often bring about some weird and wonderful decisions, and that leads me to think Betfair’s 5/1 on there to be a duck, a run out and a stumping in the match could come in.

Both sides are likely to field two quality spinners – Imran Tahir and Khushdil Shah and Mohammad Hafeez and Samit Patel, heightening the chances of a stumping. 

There were four run outs in yesterday’s game and two ducks.