Lahore and Karachi are the most vibrant and biggest cities of Pakistan. Lahore Qalandars and Karachi Kings are the two biggest franchises. Both teams haven’t had any success in terms of winning the PSL title. In fact, Lahore has been the worst-performing team in all seasons, but the tables have turned now.
Also Read: Pakistan Super League 5 2020
Lahore Qalandars is playing its first-ever Semi-Final (Eliminator-2) of PSL5. Qalandars, which had a history of breaking the hearts of fans yet delivering intense action and close games, has been exceptionally consistent in the Pakistan Super League’s fifth edition.
Lahore Qalandar’s Poor History in PSL
At the start of the Pakistan Super League, Lahore Qalandars was amongst the strongest teams on paper. But the anti-climax happened right after the team’s first outing in PSL-1. LQ not only lost 6 out of their 8 total matches and finished last. Azhar Ali, who was also captaining Pakistan Cricket Team, was the captain of Lahore Qalandars.
In the second season also played in UAE, Lahore had a change of captaincy and brought Dwayne Bravo as their lucky charm, but that did not work either. They resulted in an exact replica of the first season. Lahore finished last once again.
The third and fourth seasons were no different from the first two, and Lahore kept losing and getting eliminated in the group stage. Lahore became a symbol of defeat and depression. Fans could not believe that their team could not win any close game, and choking at crucial matches became a norm for Lahore Qalandars. Even a change in captaincy every season did not bring any luck. Big names like Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers, and Mohammad Hafeez could not save the sinking ship of Lahore Qalandars.
Big Players with a high reputation as match winners such as Chris Gayle, Dwane Bravo, Brendon McCullum, Fakhar Zaman, Hafeez, and Chris Lynn were repeatedly failing again. The team just didn’t seem to click together. Owner Rana Fawad became a celebrity because of his emotional and cricket crazy sentiments over his team’s dismal performances.
Here is a quick view of Lahore Qalandar’s Failures in the first four seasons of PSL.
|PSL Season||Year||Team||Abbreviation||Total Matches||Wins||Losses||NRR|
Captains used by Lahore Qalandars in all PSL seasons.
|2||Dwayne Bravo||Trinidad and Tobago||PSL-1||2016||2016||1||0||1|
|3||Brendon McCullum||New Zealand||PSL-2-3||2017||2018||18||5||11|
|5||AB de Villiers||South Africa||PSL-4||2019||2019||3||1||2|
It appeared as if Lahore Qalandars are unable to win and choke under pressure situations. The fifth edition of PSL was organized completely in Pakistan for the first time ever. Lahore came out with a totally different team with a different structure and a totally different captain. Management decided to choose a young Pakistani Player, Sohail Akhtar as a captain. This was a big gamble, but Lahore had little to lose, and as they say, you tend to braver when there is nothing to lose.
Season-5 came, and Lahore Qalandars started off against Multan Sultans. The result was no surprise to many as Lahore had lost yet again. Multan Sultan crushed LQ in the inaugural match by 5 wickets win. Lahore Qalandar’s second encounter was against Islamabad United(IU), and Qalandars lost against them with the narrowest margins. This was their second consecutive defeat. If this was not enough, then Lahore Qalandar’s lost their third match against Peshawar Zalmi (PZ) as well. This was their third defeat in a row. And the Qalandar’s were yet again down at the bottom of the points table Yet Again!
Lahore was down and under, and suddenly a hero came forward to rescue the sinking ship of Lahore Qalandars. Yes, It was Ben Dunk. He smashed Quetta Gladiators to all parts of the ground. Dunk scored 93 runs on just 43 deliveries. Chris Lynn and Samit Patel Also chipped in and took Lahore to their highest ever 209-5.
It was too much for Quetta Gladiators, and Lahore won their first match of the season. There was something special, something lifting about this win against QG. Lahore Qalandars was looking like a brand new team. Ben Dunk performances kept on coming throughout the PSL season, and he kept on become the catalyst of Lahore’s success. Lahore managed to beat Gladiators, Zalmi, Kings, and Sultans. They got themselves in the top four, and for the first time ever, Lahore was going to play the Playoff stage of the Pakistan Super League.
Lahore Qalandar had already beaten Peshawar Zalmi in the group stage. Still, this time it was an Elimination match, and whoever lost had to be eliminated.
Lahore being confident about chasing the totals (thanks to some super hitting big guns in their lineup), opted to bowl first. Peshawar came in to bat, and Shoaib Malik and Faf du Plessis played an excellent hand scoring in the 30s. Peshawar managed to post a reasonable target of 170 runs. Dilbar Hussain took three wickets for Lahore Qalandars.
Batting heavy, Lahore Qalandars were confident for a successful chase. Still, they were soon surprised by the young Saqib Mahmood, who cheaply dismissed the top three Qalandar batsmen. Fakhar Zaman, Tamim Iqbal, and Captain Sohail Akhtar went back to the hut courtesy of Saqib Mahmood’s fine bowling spell.
Hafeez came in to bat, and alongside him was the star, Ben Dunk. Hafeez stabilized the innings and played his shots. On the other hand, Ben Dunk was playing cautiously. Dunk got out to a good ball from Mohammad Imran, and Carlos Braithwaite caught him in the deep. Now it was all upto Hafeez.
Samit Patel came out and stuck some boundaries, whereas Hafeez was also playing freely. Both knew that if they could take the match deep into the last overs, LQ could hit big in the last couple of overs. David Wiese came in when Samit lost his wicket to Rahat Ali.
Wiese, who has a big-hitting reputation, had to face Wahab Riaz in the second last over where LQ still needed 20 runs. Wiese deposited 2 short balls from Wahab Riaz into midwicket and won the match for Lahore Qalandar in style. Hafeez stayed not out for his 74*(46).
Lahore won the match by five wickets. And now They are in Eliminator-2 facing off Multan Sultans.
Lahore’s success yet again came off chasing, and their batsmen did not fail to produce something special out of the box once more. Will Lahore retain their winning streak against Multan Sultans today. We will find out in today’s live cricket match between LQ vs. MS Eliminator-2 of PSL5.
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