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PSL 2023: Lahore Qalandars preview and probable lineup for qualifier

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After waiting for six long years, Lahore Qalandars won their maiden Pakistan Super League (PSL) title last year after defeating Multan Sultans in the final at Lahore’s iconic Gaddafi Stadium.

Now, the defending champions are just two steps away from becoming the first-ever side to successfully defend their title throughout PSL history.

Under the command of their new captain Shaheen Shah Afridi, Qalandars look completely different from what they were before the seventh edition of the league.

Under the captaincy of Shaheen, Qalandars’ consistency since last year shows the commitment which the new captain has brought to the team as they remained table toppers in the league stage of this year’s PSL, winning seven out of 10 matches.

PSL 2023: Lahore Qalandars preview and probable lineup for qualifier

The Qalandars have now set their eyes on the qualifier against the Sultans, which is scheduled to be played on March 15 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

Strengths

The Qalandars’ biggest strength is, perhaps, their captain Shaheen. The left-arm pacer has an unending ability to take a wicket in his first over.

Moreover, Qalandars’ overall bowling line-up, which contains the likes of Rashid Khan, Zaman Khan, and Haris Rauf, has not only been recognised as the best bowling line-up of PSL but that of any T20 team in the world.

Qalandars’ three bowlers — Rashid (15), Shaheen (14) and Haris (14) — are currently among the top five highest wicket-takers in the ongoing PSL 8.

On the other hand, opener Fakhar Zaman is the backbone of their batting line. The latter has scored 378 runs in 10 league matches including a maiden PSL century. Fakhar has the ability to provide a quick start to Qalandars against any bowling attack.

Weaknesses

Qalandars are unlucky to have their experienced fast-bowling all-rounder David Wiese out of form this season. The Namibian cricketer has so far failed to impress fans with his match-winning abilities.

Moreover, another fast-bowling all-rounder Hussain Talat is also missing his usual touch. Qalandars lack a finisher, who can also bowl wicket-taking overs, down their batting line-up.

Previous appearance in qualifier

Qalandars played the PSL qualifier only once which was last year against the same team, Sultans.

They lost the qualifier by 28 runs.

Probable lineup

Fakhar Zaman, Mirza Tahir Baig, Abdullah Shafique, Sikandar Raza, Sam Billings, David Wiese, Hussain Talat, Shaheen Afridi (c), Haris Rauf, Rashid Khan, Zaman Khan

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Rise in ICC Men’s Twenty20 International Rankings for Pakistani Players

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Pakistan skipper Babar Azam moved up the T20I batting rankings to take third place after scoring 33 runs off of just 10 balls in Tuesday’s nail-biting run chase against Canada. In contrast, Mohammad Rizwan, who batted at wicketkeeper, retired to fourth place.

In the bowling rankings, returning pacer Mohammad Amir rose 65 places to 82nd, and Naseem Shah climbed 21 places to joint-thirty-third.

Also, left-arm spinner Imad Wasim stormed up the rankings, taking 34th position. While Shadab fell three spots to fourteenth, Imad rose one spot to eleventh in the T20I all-rounder rankings.

The ICC Men’s Twenty20 International Bowling Rankings have Pakistan’s star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi falling to number twelve, despite the fact that he has not played up to his usual standards. The right-handed speedster Haris Rauf, on the other hand, fell two spots to 36th.

After taking two wickets in a Twenty20 International match against New Zealand, Afghanistan’s veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi was named the “big winner” in the most recent rankings update by the major cricketing organization.

As a result of his recent two-wicket haul against New Zealand in Guyana, the 39-year-old Mohammad Nabi jumped to the No. 1 slot on the list for all-rounders, making him the clear winner in the latest rankings update, according to a press statement from the ICC.

In the wake of a massive shuffle at the top of the T20I rankings for all-rounders, Nabbila improves by two spots to take first place, with Marcus Stoinis of Australia climbing three spots to take second place and Shakib Al Hasan falling four spots to fifth.

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A petition has been filed criticizing the cricket team’s bad performance in the T20 World Cup.

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A lawyer in Gujranwala has submitted a formal request to the court, urging for legal measures to be taken in response to the substandard performance of the national cricket team.

The petition has been lodged in the court of the district and sessions judge, citing sections 22A and 22B of the Pakistan Penal Code. It identifies all individuals involved, including captain Babar Azam, team management, and the coach, as parties.

The petitioner voiced profound apprehension at the underwhelming performance of the national cricket team, deeming it a squandering of funds and a breach of the nation’s confidence. The petition alleges that the team jeopardized millions of rupees and the nation’s integrity, claiming that the players and team management chose financial gain over the honor of the country.

In addition, the petition emphasizes the significant emotional distress experienced by individuals during matches against America and India, considering these performances to be particularly offensive. The user is requesting a suspension of the team until a detailed investigation is carried out by the interior secretary and a comprehensive report is finalized.

The petitioner further condemns the intrusion of political personalities in the team’s matters, contending that whenever political selections are made as coaches and chairmen, it results in the team’s decline.

The court has instructed the police to respond to the petition by June 21.

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Mohammad Rizwan has achieved an undesirable record in the T20 World Cup.

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Pakistan achieved the target of 107 runs with only three wickets lost and 15 balls remaining, thanks to a solid half-century by Rizwan.

The right-handed batsman achieved an undefeated score of 53 runs from an equal number of deliveries, including three boundaries and one six. This is the initial fifty runs scored by a Pakistani batsman in the current tournament.

Nevertheless, Rizwan required 52 deliveries to achieve his fifty runs, making it the most time-consuming half-century in the whole T20 World Cup’s history.

South Africa’s David Miller previously held the record for scoring a half-century in 50 balls against the Netherlands at the same stadium.

Rizwan commenced the batting for Pakistan alongside Saim Ayub (6), but they were unable in providing the Pakistani team with a satisfactory beginning when Ayub lost his wicket in the fifth over, leaving the team with a mere 20 runs on the scoreboard.

Subsequently, Skipper Babar Azam joined Rizwan on the batting crease, and the pair effectively guided the team’s pursuit of runs with a resilient partnership. Babar and his partner contributed 63 runs for the second wicket until Babar was dismissed by Dilon Heyliger in the 15th over.

He achieved a scoring rate of one run per ball, accumulating a total of 33 runs, aided by a single boundary and a six.

Mohammad Rizwan briefly collaborated with Fakhar Zaman, who only managed to score four runs and was out on the second delivery of the 18th over, with the team needing just three more runs to win.

Usman Khan secured victory for Pakistan by elegantly directing the ball towards the midwicket area, resulting in a two-run score.

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