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|AB de Villiers||47||38||7||0||123.68|
After a brief stint of PSL at Sharjah and a day's break, the action once again shifts back to Dubai with Islamabad United taking on Multan Sultans on 26th February. In the subsequent encounter, on 27th February, Quetta Gladiators will be looking to bounce back and maintain their supremacy when they take on Lahore Qalandars. The Qalandars had a poor start to the tournament, but with a couple of blistering knocks from AB de Villiers and David Wiese has pushed them back into the contention. Quetta Gladiators, on the contrary, have been the most consistent side in the tournament, having lost only one game, their last match which was against Karachi Kings.
After scripting a special chase against Multan Sultans, it was surprising to see Lahore Qalandars go down in the manner they did in their game against Quetta Gladiators. With King's win over Quetta Gladiators, the Qalandars are tied with Kings, separated only by net run rate, with both sides having four points each.
They were dealt a double blow in their last match where they failed to defend a mediocre total. In addition to the narrow loss, the problems for Qalandars compounded with AB de Villiers' injury who is unlikely to take the field in the upcoming encounter. AB de Villiers played an instrumental role in Qalandars' resurgence and his absence is certain to have a huge impact considering their batting order which hasn't really looked as solid as their fans and management would have liked.
Although their batting hasn't done particularly well barring AB de Villiers and David Wiese, their bowling has done well thus far in the tournament. It wasn't any different in their last match as well as they stretched the match to the final ball despite having only 143 runs to defend. There was a clear lack of support from their fielding as they missed six run-out chances which allowed Gladiators to claw back into the game. The Qalandars, despite being in a position to dictate terms, eventually lost the game by three wickets.
F Zaman, Sohail Akhtar, Haris Sohail, AB de Villiers, Corey Anderson, D Wiese, Gauhar Ali, Sandeep Lamichhane, Yasir Shah, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi.
Despite a surprise loss to Karachi Kings, Quetta Gladiators still dominate the points table with eight points, thanks to the four consecutive wins in their first four matches. It needed a special effort from Colin Ingram to stop their winning caravan as Kings defeated them comprehensively with six wickets to spare.
Defending a tall total of 187, Quetta Gladiators got off to a dream start as they dismissed both of Kings' openers, Babar Azam and Colin Munro, with almost nothing on the board. Their bowlers continued picking up wickets at regular intervals with Fawad Ahmed getting rid of Awas Zia and Sohail Tanvir getting better of Liam Livingstone. However, that was all from the Quetta bowlers. They failed to contain Colin Ingram as he single-handedly wrecked the Gladiators' ship with an innings that amounted to 127 runs off just 59 deliveries. Kings eventually emerged triumphant with no further damage with eight balls to spare.
Earlier with the bat, Ahsan Ali and Shane Watson both fell without really pushing Kings' bowlers. However, Rilee Rossouw and Umar Akmal assumed charge of their innings as the duo added 63 runs in just 41 balls for the third wicket. The dismissals of Rilee Rossouw and Umar Akmal stalled their innings for a while before Anwar Ali's 6-ball 27 propelled them to 186.
SR Watson, Rilee Rossouw, Ahsan Ali, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Danish Aziz, S Tanvir, Mohammad Hasnain, Harry Gurney, Fawad Ahmed.
It was not long ago when these two teams met in the competition where Quetta Gladiators just managed to edge past the Qalandars in a last-ball finish. However, the circumstances will be a lot different for both the sides when they lock horns on Wednesday. The Gladiators are coming off a loss in their previous game and have a few problems to address. The Qalandars, on the other hand, will be without AB de Villiers and his absence has definitely rendered Qalandars' batting a little fragile. With a win in the previous encounter between the two sides and overall better performance in the tournament so far, the Gladiators look firm favorites to win the upcoming encounter.
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