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Wednesday April 17, 2024

Gladiators seek to bounce back in Kings clash today

By Alam Zeb Safi
February 29, 2024
Quetta Gladiators players celebrate during the PSL match against Lahore Qalandars. — Facebook/Quetta Gladiators
Quetta Gladiators players celebrate during the PSL match against Lahore Qalandars. — Facebook/Quetta Gladiators

LAHORE: In-form Quetta Gladiators will be making their top effort to bounce back having lost their previous game against Multan Sultans when they face Karachi Kings in their fifth show of the HBL PSL 9 at the National Stadium Karachi on Thursday (today).

The game starts at 7pm PST. Gladiators, under their new skipper Rilee Rossouw, have so far been impressive in the six-team league, having won three games out of four they have played.

Following three poor seasons the change of guard seems to have worked for the Gladiators. Head coach Shane Watson and skipper Rilee Rossouw have so far done well to get the best out of their charges.

Gladiators have been impressive both with the bat and ball. Jason Roy, Saud Shakeel, Rilee himself and Khawaja Nafay have played their roles. However, they need to be consistent if they are to lead their side towards their ultimate goal. Saud, who is also acting as vice-captain, has lived up to the expectations and has played some fine innings while opening the shows with Jason Roy who also looks elegant as usual.

Gladiators are also lucky to have Mohammad Amir who has been found leading the bowling pack in almost every game. Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Waseem Junior and the spin duo of Abrar Ahmed and Akeal Hosein have been splendid so far.

They have an edge over Karachi Kings who lack experience. Like Karachi Kings, they will also get huge support from the Karachi crowd, a factor which they missed in Lahore and Multan.

Gladiators took a fine start to the season when they downed Peshawar Zalmi by 16 runs on February 18 at Lahore. They then defeated Lahore Qalandars by five wickets before conquering Islamabad United by three wickets, for their third straight win.

On February 25 Gladiators lost a close game against Multan Sultans with just a 13-run margin at the latter’s backyard.

Meanwhile, barring their game against Islamabad United which was in progress in Karachi on Wednesday, Kings also look good, having won two of three games they played in Punjab.

After a poor start to the season when Kings were mauled by Multan Sultans by 55 runs at the Multan Cricket Stadium they bounced back smartly and downed Peshawar Zalmi by seven wickets and conquered Lahore Qalandars by two wickets to gain momentum.

West Indies hard-hitting batsman Kieron Pollard played a major role in Kings’ wins. Shoaib Malik and James Vince are the others who have done well. Skipper Shan Masood needs to lead his brigade from the front and should go deep which can add strength to his side.

Left-arm pacer Mir Hamza has been impressive with the ball for Kings and is being smartly assisted by Hasan Ali and Daniel Sams. They have spin options in Nawaz and Shoaib Malik.

TODAY'S FIXTURE

Kings vs Gladiators

7:00 pmPST