It rarely happens in PSL but the delayed restart of the tournament means that Lahore will have to play matches on back-to-back nights. Just yesterday they defeated Islamabad United by five wickets in a match that went down to the wire and needed the heroics of Rashid Khan – both with the bat and ball.
The result means that Lahore went to the top of the league, although their spot is under threat from Karachi Kings, who are second on the table and will be in action against Multan before Lahore play tonight.
Lahore, in their win over Islamabad last night, did most things right but still came close to losing. While bowling first, they had the capital city side 109-8 but some poor bowling at the death allowed Islamabad to post a defendable 144-run target on a difficult batting pitch.
At 82-2 and then 97-3, Lahore were on top of their run chase before wheels suddenly came off and they somehow needed 16 off the final over – a task Rashid accomplished, thanks to his spree of three 4s to start the over with.
Of course, there was lethargy in their performance but considering that the league has resumed after such a long break and the conditions are different, Lahore might give their players more time to adjust.
If you weigh the players lost and gained by Peshawar Zalmi ahead of the restart, you will find that any damage was only minimal. Out went Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Ravi Bopara. Meanwhile, the newcomers are Fabian Allen, Fidel Edwards, Rovman Powell, Waqar Salamkheil and Hazratullah Zazai, which clearly shows that the exits were slightly on the heavier side.
Having said that, Zalmi have enough talent and if short of options, they can always ask their head coach Daren Sammy to pad up.
In terms of points table, Zalmi have a chance to go top of the table, provided that they win by a considerable margin and Karachi, who have a very healthy run rate, lose their game earlier in the day.
Zalmi have lost three straight matches to the Qalandars and would want to set their poor recent record straight tonight.