Tuesday Mar 10, 2020
Lahore Qalandars have a losing record against most sides (except for Quetta Gladiators) but against Peshawar Zalmi they have an extraordinarily poor record.
In almost five years of clashes, Lahore have beaten Peshawar just once (we kid you not!). The two teams have played nine matches, of which Peshawar have won eight and Lahore just one.
That sole victory had come in the inaugural edition of the tournament courtesy Cameron Delport (then with Lahore), who had scored a half-century and also taken three wickets.
These two have already faced each other once this year, with Zalmi edging the rain-shortened 12-overs-a-side encounter.
A victory for Lahore over Peshawar tonight at Gaddafi Stadium would be their third overall of the ongoing PSL. It would propel them to as high as number three on the points table, which was unimaginable a week or so ago when they had three losses and zero points.
They have since won three of four, and Ben Dunk has been directly responsible for two of those victories. The bubble-blowing Aussie will undoubtedly be Lahore's most dangerous weapon tonight.
Like Lahore, Peshawar, too, are on a two-match winning streak and have seen a revival of sorts under new captaincy. They had DLS to thank for their win over Islamabad United in their last game but still, Zalmi have shown an improvement since Wahab Riaz took Darren Sammy's job in the field, and Darren Sammy took Mohammad Akram's job in the dugout.
A victory for Zalmi tonight will boost their tally to 11, just as many as Multan Sultans, but they are highly unlikely to become the new league leaders considering the Sultans' sky-high net run-rate.
Lahore's revival hasn't been a team effort at all. They are where they are due to insane individual acts, primarily of Ben Dunk. While we know by now that you should never bet against a side with the bubble blowing Aussie, cricket is a team sport after all and you cannot expect one man to bail the team out again and again.
Expect a Peshawar victory, although we'd love to be proven wrong this time.