Who will win PSL 2023? Qalandars or Sultans?

The finals of the Pakistan Super League 2023 between Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans will take place on Saturday, 18 March 2023, at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.

The Sultans will aiming to win the PSL trophy, but also seek revenge against Lahore, who had beaten them convincingly in last year’s final at the same venue.

The head-to-head record between the two teams reveals that Lahore has won 8 out of the 15 matches played, while Multan has won 7.

The Sultans qualified for the final by bowling out Lahore for just 76 runs, winning by 84 runs, after finishing second in the league stage.

Sheldon Cottrell’s 3-wicket haul led to Lahore’s collapse after Kieron Pollard’s fifty propelled the Sultans to 160/5.

Lahore Qalandars’ biggest challenge was to bat first if they lost the toss against Peshawar Zalmi.

However, having passed that test, they are in an excellent position going into the final.

In the qualifier match, Lahore finally won a match when batting second, a massive psychological boost for them.

Chasing 172 to beat Peshawar Zalmi, they reached their target with four wickets in hand and seven balls to spare, setting up this final encounter with Multan.

Mirza Baig and pacer Zaman Khan were the stars for Lahore, and they reached their third PSL final in four seasons.

Team News

Right-arm pacer Shahnawaz Dahani is back in the Multan Sultans squad after coincidentally getting injured in their opening match of the season against Qalandars.

However, he is unlikely to play the final as young pacers Abbas Afridi and Ihsanullah are in terrific form, with 23 and 21 wickets respectively.

The Sultans have a quartet of match-winning all-rounders in Pollard, Khushdil Shah, Anwar Ali and Usama Mir who add a vital balance to the side.

Anwar and Usama Mir have been important contributors with the ball picking up 23 wickets amongst them, so far.

Sultans have another trump card up their sleeve – Usman Khan whose explosive hitting helped  him smash the fastest ever century in PSL history.

Due to his red hot form, he will displace Shan Masood, who scored two half-centuries in the last five innings and has scored 236 runs in the nine innings.

Mohammad Rizwan is in pole position to bag the Green Cap (Most runs in PSL 2023) for the season with 516 runs in 11 innings.

For Lahore, the big problem is the form of their star batters.

Fakhar Zaman showed his class a brilliant 115 late in the league stages but since then has scored 25 runs in three innings.

Abdullah Shafique, who was sent back to No. 3, has managed just 20 runs in last five innings.

However, if Lahore is in the final, it’s largely due to their bowling attack, which is arguably the most lethal amongst all T20 franchises in the world.

Haris Rauf has picked up 13 of his 17 wickets came in the last six games, including 3/34 in the last match.

Even junior partner, Zaman Khan has impressed with 13 wickets, seven of which came in the last four games.

Apart from pace talisman Shaheen Afridi, they also boast of the Afghan genius, Rashid Khan who has 18 wickets in 10 games and holds the Maroon cap for being the highest wicket taker.

Lahore Qalandars Predicted Playing XI:

Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Kamran Ghulam, Sam Billings, Hussain Talat, Sikandar Raza, David Wiese, Rashid Khan, Shaheen Afridi ©, Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan

Multan Sultans Predicted Playing XI:

Usman Khan, Mohammad Rizwan ©, Rilee Rossouw, Kieron Pollard, Tim David, Khushdil Shah, Anwar Ali, Usama Mir, Abbas Afridi, Izharulhaq Naveed, Ihsanullah

Who will win

Lahore Qalandars’ primary weakness was their batting, but having won a match while chasing in the qualifier, they are in a better position.

Lahore has a fantastic bowling attack, which may prove decisive in a big final.

At the same time, Multan Sultans have emerged as the team to beat in this edition of the PSL.

The likes of Kieron Pollard, Tim David, Rilee Rossouw and Usman Khan have stood up and delivered when it mattered and their confidence must be sky-high.

To stand a chance against the rampaging batting lineup of the Sultans, the Qalandars bowlers must bring their A-game.

These two teams have faced each other three times across the tournament, with Lahore winning both group games before Multan Sultans overcame them comprehensively in the qualifier.

T20 cricket is about mindset and momentum and in this aspect, we feel Multan have the edge over Lahore.


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