Lahore ready to host PSL semifinals


Babar Azam will be key for Karachi Kings in semifinal against Lahore Qalandars
Babar Azam will be key for Karachi Kings in semifinal against Lahore Qalandars

Dubai - Some key foreign players from both teams have already left the PS

By Liaqat Ali

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Published: Mon 16 Mar 2020, 7:16 PM

Last updated: Mon 16 Mar 2020, 9:20 PM

The Gaddafi Stadium is all set to host the semifinals of the 2020 Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Tuesday without spectators. It is the first time the entire PSL is being held in Paksistan and all four centres witnessed housefuls during the first round matches. Due to coronavirus fears Pakistan Cricket Board has taken precautionary measures to host matches in empty stadiums.
The first semifinal will take place between Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi at 1PM. Table-toppers Sultans look favourite against Zalmi who finished fourth having collected nine points. Quetta Gladiators  also pocketed nine points but Zalmi advanced on the back of better net run rate.
Some key foreign players from both teams have already left the PSL but Sultans still have upper hand.
Skipper Shan Masood has led the side very well and contributed with the bat as well. Sultans will pin hopes on youngster Khushdil Shah who played a brilliant knock against Lahore Qalandars on Sunday. Sultans will miss the services of South African left-handed Rilee Roussouw.
Zalmi are not the team they used to be in the PSL but still managed to reach the semifinal. The change of captain in the middle of the tournament might have bad effect on the performance of the team. They will depend heavily on Kamran Akmal who has notched 346 runs from 11 matches so far.
Kamran will be playing in his city though there will be no fans. Shoaib Malik has done well in the recent matches and could be dangerous. Pacers Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali can be handy for Multan batsmen.
The second semifinal between Lahore and Karachi should be a cracker keeping in mind the rivalry between two mega cities.
Lahore outclassed Karachi at home and were treated in the same way in their away game. All the eyes will be on this match on Tuesday.
Lahore got a jolt when Chris Lynn decided to leave the PSL on Monday but they still have firepower to win the battle. Fakhar Zaman and Ben Dunk need to rise to occasion if Lahore harbour any hopes of lifting the elusive trophy.
Fast bowlers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf could pose problems for Karachi batsmen.
Karachi openers (Babar Azam and Sharjeel Khan) hold the key. Imad Waseem has led the side well and his individual contribution was second to none in the tournament. They have a good pair of fast bowlers in the form of Mohammed Amir and Chris Jordan.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza has joined Peshawar Zalmi as a Silver category player, it was announced on Monday.
The 33-year-old will join Zalmi, who take on table-toppers Multan Sultans in the first semifinal on Tuesday at 2pm, today.
Lahore Qalandars have included Pakistan batsman Abid Ali and Salman Ali Agha in their line-up. Both players come in as Silver category players.
The inclusions have been approved by the Event Technical Committee which includes PCB CEO Wasim Khan, Bazid Khan, Marina Iqbal, Sameer Khosa and Dr Sohail Saleem.
Aleem and Gough will umpire the HBL PSL 2020 semifinals and final.

Today's Matches
Multan v Peshawar
Karachi v Lahore
Final on Wedneday
All UAE Time

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