About the Match
Having lost both the qualifying games till now, Southern Express will need to bounce back with a win against Lahore Lions, in the 5th match to be played at Raipur on 16th Sep. The Lions on the other hand had defeated Mumbai Indians comprehensively on Saturday to keep their campaign alive but their humiliating loss against the Northern Knights on Sunday is a huge cause for worry. Both teams will need to deliver if they want to go through to the league matches that start soon after.
Gunathilaka is in good form scoring the runs at the top order but lacks support from the others; against Mumbai, he scored 30 off 23 deliveries and Maharoof displayed great skills with the bat to post 41 off just 22 balls to take the team to a respectable 161 runs. However, the bowlers lacked discipline and gave away too many runs against heavy hitters like Hussey and Simmons. The team lacks in experience and strategy and will need to make serious amends in their overall performance if they want to be alive in the series. Established players like Kusal and Angelo Perera need to show the way to the youngsters with their batting skills and post strong partnerships while the bowlers must keep it tight to defend the totals set by the batsmen. The Lions have a good batting line-up; the bowling squad needs to strategize well to give a tough challenge to the opponents on Tuesday.
It was a smashing victory against Mumbai Indians in their first qualifying game, successfully chasing 136 runs with more than an over to spare. Shehzad and Jamshed posted a half-century opening stand to give the required foundation while Umar Akmal along with Asif Raza and Hafeez ensured that they reach home safely. Cheema and Wahab Riaz claimed 2 wickets each to restrict the Mumbai team to 135 runs; Imran Ali and Asif Raza were economical and took a wicket each to display some great bowling efforts. However, it was a total disaster against Northern Districts as the batsmen collapsed like a pack of cards, failing to chase 171-run target; Saad Nasim was the lone man fighting for a lost cause as he scored a valiant 58 off 40 balls coming in at the middle. They were all out for 98 runs, the tenth lowest total ever in CLT20 and this loss must have caused a huge damage to their morale; however, they need to rise above their weaknesses and make a comeback against the Southern Express if they want to keep their hopes alive.
Lahore Lions are a better experienced side and definitely have the resources to guide them towards victory; while Southern Express has suffered back-to-back losses, one can’t rule them out just yet. It will be a good contest in the fifth qualifier of the season but we expect the boys from Lahore to emerge victorious here.
Lahore Lions, 1.53 @ Bet365