About the Match
Qalandarshave only 4 points in their kitty and will try to improve their standing when they meet Gladiators, who are placed second with 10 points, on 16th February at Dubai. The Qalandars had a poor start and have fallen back to the bottom of the table after showing some recovery; their recent win against Zalmi gives them a ray of hope and they need to pull up their socks to win the upcoming match. Gladiators have done very well all through but their defeat against Zalmi in the last outing displayed scope for improvement and they will try to come back stronger here to go back to their winning ways.
They won the match against Zalmi by a close 4 runs after defending 164 runs; Cooper and Delport took 3 wickets each to demolish the opposition and help the team register their second win of the season. Earlier, Delport built the innings as he scored 78 off 61 balls and with help from Umar Akmal’s unbeaten 52, took the total to a competitive 164.
Previously, against the Gladiators, they had won the match emphatically by 63 runs after posting a humungous 194-run target, which the bowlers defended thanks to Zafar Gohar’s 4-14 and Mendis’ 3-17. They have a good batting line-up with players like Umar Akmal, Cameron Delport and captain Azhar Ali who provide good starts. However, the others down the line must come out all guns blazing in order to post big totals.
The bowling attack has experts like Gohar, Mendis and Cooper who bring their wicket-taking skills to the table. Their recent victory has provided them with a much-needed morale boost and they will be motivated to make a last ditch effort to keep their hopes alive.
They have had a terrific run so far to make it to the second position in the table but their defeat against Qalandars by a huge margin of 63 runs will definitely motivate them to redeem themselves. In that match, the top-order batsmen like Ahmed Shehzad, Pietersen and Luke Wright had failed to impress with the bat while the lower middle order succumbed to pressure. Mohammad Nawaz scored 42 runs and Sarfraz Ahmed contributed with 31 runs but the others didn’t deliver to expectations. The bowling performance was lacklustre and they will need to strategize well against the Qalandar batsmen here.
Against Zalmi too in their last outing, the batting line-up fell like a pack of cards, getting all-out for just 129 runs by the 18th over with only Grant Elliott standing up to fight with a well-made 40 and Zulfiqar Babar showing great heroism to post 20 off 11 balls to get them a respectable total. However, the target was too low to defend against a hungry opposition and their defeat by 8 wickets would surely have given them some lessons to improve their performance in the upcoming match.
They have an experienced batting line-up with players like Shehzad, Sangakkara, Elliott and Sarfraz Ahmed; the bowling unit comprises of seasoned bowlers like Zulfiqar Babar,Umar Gul, Mohammad Nabi and youngsters like Mohammad Nawaz. If they can bounce back with a better all-round performance, then the Gladiators definitely look well placed to win the contest.
While Qalandars have previously defeated the same opponent Gladiators, they will need to do well here in order to repeat their performance. Although the contest could go either way, we feel Gladiators will avenge their defeat and emerge victorious here on Tuesday