Multan Sultans vs Quetta Gladiators: Preview and Prediction
The domestic T20 tournament of Pakistan, Pakistan Super League is back with its eighth season. Just like the previous seasons, as many as six franchises will be fighting tooth and nail against each other to book a berth in the final of the season scheduled for March 19 and then eventually win the trophy.
In the third match of the 2023 edition of the T20 extravaganza, the runner-up of the last season Multan Sultans will be going up against Quetta Gladiators. The two teams will be locking horns with each other on Wednesday at the Multan Cricket Stadium in Multan.
Just like the previous season, Multan Sultans will be playing under the leadership of Mohammad Rizwan. The top-order batter is in prime form with the bat as he is coming into the league after scoring a plethora of runs for Comilla Victorians in the Bangladesh Premier League.
The winners of the sixth season of the T20 Championship will have batting as their strong point owing to the presence of players like Shan Masood, David Miller, Kieron Pollard, and Usman Khan. The franchise has received a big setback as their three main players, including the likes of Rilee Rossouw, Tim David, and Joshua Little will be missing the first few handful games due to other commitments.
Speaking of Quetta Gladiators, they have not been up to the mark in the last three seasons. The team failed to make it to the playoffs in the last three seasons and will be hoping to break the unwanted record this year. Just like all the previous seven seasons, Sarfaraz Ahmed will be handling the responsibility of leading the team.
Iftikhar Ahmed will be the player to watch out for as he is coming after a sensational performance in the Bangladesh Premier League. The team also has the services of players like Odean Smith, Dwaine Pretorius, Will Jacks, Jason Roy, Naseem Shah, and Wanindu Hasaranga.
What has happened so far?
Multan Sultans have qualified for the playoffs in the last three seasons, but they managed to win the title just once in 2021. The team will be filled with confidence and momentum following their good run in the 2022 edition of the T20 extravaganza.
The Mohammad Rizwan-led side churned out a splendid performance in the group games last season. They won a stunning nine league games while losing only one match to sit at the top of the table. However, the team could not replicate the same performance in the final as lost to Lahore Qalandars by 42 runs.
It was a poor batting performance by the side as they scored only 138 runs in their allotted 20 overs. On the other hand, Quetta Gladiators failed to make an impact in the last season. With eight points from four wins and six losses, the team finished in second-last place in the points tally.
The Gladiators were one of the most consistent teams in the first four seasons of the Pakistan Super League, as they even won the trophy in 2019. However, the team has failed to spill the same magic in the last three editions and is struggling with the form.
Head to Head Record
In the history of the Pakistan Super League, Multan Sultans have gone one-on-one against Quetta Gladiators in a total of ten matches. Though the two teams have given a tough fight to each other, the Sultans have an edge with five wins to their name. Gladiators have won four games against the 2021 champions while one match was abandoned.
Mohammad Rizwan (Multan Sultans)
The veteran opening batter Mohammad Rizwan was the top run-scorer for Multan Sultans in the last season as the team reached the final against Lahore Qalandars. Also, he is coming into the Pakistan Super League 2023 after scoring a massive 351 runs in the ongoing season of the Bangladesh Premier League for the franchise Comilla Victorians.
Thus, the odds are in the favor of the 30-year-old to play a captain’s knock and take his team home on Wednesday.
Iftikhar Ahmed (Quetta Gladiators)
The middle-order batter Iftikhar Ahmed will be the player to watch out for from the Quetta Gladiators’ squad. The 32-year-old was in brilliant form with the bat in the Bangladesh Premier League 2023 as he scored 351 runs in 11 matches at an average of 58.50 and a strike rate of over 157.
Ahmed played a leading role in helping his team Fortune Barishal qualify for the playoffs and Quetta Gladiators will be hoping for the batter to replicate his good performance.
Predicted Playing XI
Multan Sultans: Mohammad Rizwan ©, Shan Masood, Usman Khan, Tim David, David Miller, Kieron Pollard, Khushdil Shah, Usama Mir, Shahnawaz Dahani, Ihsanullah, Abbas Afridi
Quetta Gladiators: Jason Roy, Martin Guptill, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Umar Akmal, Sarfaraz Ahmed ©, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Wanindu Hasaranga, Umaid Asif, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah
Multan Sultans will be walking into the third Pakistan Super League 2023 match as the favorites. The team has been in sensational form in the last three seasons as they have consistently qualified for the playoffs.
The Sultans have a rock-solid batting line-up with a balanced mix of anchors and power hitters. Having said that, Quetta Gladiators also have a good squad at their disposal and will be eager to cause an upset for the favorites.