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In terms of head-to-head records, there is absolutely nothing to separate these two sides. The Sultans and the Gladiators have locked horns on nine occasions in this competition and both teams have emerged victoriously four times, with one game being abandoned. However, Multan have had a much better campaign this time around as compared to their opposition, which makes them the clear favorites for this match.
Multan Sultans to Win (-175)
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Multan Sultan: Shan Masood, Mohammad Rizwan (c & wk), Rilee Rossouw, Tim David, Khushdil Shah, Aamer Azmat, Asif Afridi, Abbas Afridi/Rumman Raees, Imran Tahir, Blessing Muzarabani, Shahnawaz Dahani
Quetta Gladiators: Jason Roy, Will Smeed, James Vince, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Iftikhar Ahmed/James Faulkner, Umar Akmal, Hassan Khan/Noor Ahmad, Sohail Tanvir, Naseem Shah, Ghulam Mudassar, Khurram Shahzad
Multan Sultans have every chance of becoming the first team to win two consecutive Pakistan Super League titles, as the defending champions have been flawless so far this season. They have won seven of their eight matches, subsequently becoming the first team to officially confirm their participation in the playoffs.
Mohammad Rizwan’s men had a fantastic start to their season as they won all of their first six matches. Lahore Qalandars stopped their juggernaut in the seventh game, but that has not dented the team’s morale one bit as they bounced back in fashion to engineer a seven-wicket win against Karachi Kings in their last match.
On the other hand, Sarfaraz Ahmed’s Quetta Gladiators had a poor start, losing three of their first two matches. A couple of consecutive triumphs brought their derailed campaign back of track, but all of their hard work was undone in the last two matches, where the 2019 champions have suffered defeats at the hands of Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi.
It will not be surprising to see an unchanged Multan Sultans playing XI in this match after a comfortable seven-wicket triumph against Karachi Kings. However, they could still make one change as there is still room for improvement. Rumman Raees dismissed Babar Azam in his very first ball against the Kings, but his next 23 deliveries saw him conceding 37 runs without picking up any other wickets. Hence, he could be replaced by Abbas Afridi in this match, who has picked up 2 wickets this season at an economy rate of 8.46 runs per over.
The Quetta Gladiators management will be clutching at straws whilst selecting a playing XI for this match. Mohammad Hasnain has been banned from bowling for his illegal action, Mohammad Nawaz’s season is over with an injury and Shahid Afridi’s time has also come to an end after the emergence of a back problem. We could still see them making two changes for this match. Afghan spinner Noor Ahmed went wicketless in the last game against Peshawar Zalmi and could be replaced by the Pakistani spinner Hassan Khan, while veteran Aussie all-rounder James Faulkner can come in at the expense of Iftikhar Ahmed.
Shan Masood: Shan Masood has utilized this competition to debunk a common misconception that he is a one-dimensional player and has fantastically showcased his multi-faceted batting skills. He is currently Multan Sultans’ leading run-scorer, having scored 396 runs in eight matches at an average of 49.50 and a strike rate of 141.93. The 32-year-old has scored half-centuries against Quetta Gladiators, Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi.
Will Smeed: From an otherwise underperforming lot, Will Smeed has been a consistent source of runs for Quetta Gladiators. The English youngster is his team’s leading run-scorer, despite making only four appearances. Smeed has scored 229 runs in this game at an average of 57.25 and an equally impressive strike rate of 141.35. The Somerset lad played a sensational knock of 99 runs in his last match against Peshawar Zalmi, while a few days ago against the same opposition, he struck 97 runs.
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|Multan Sultans vs Quetta Gladiators, Match 16 – Information|
|Teams||Multan Sultans vs Quetta Gladiators|
|Location||Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore|
|Time||Friday, 18th February, 3 PM IST/9:30 AM GMT|
|How to watch||A Sports (Pakistan), Sony Sports Network (India), Flow Sports (Caribbean), Sky Sports (United Kingdom), Fox Sports (Australia)|
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