Champions League T20: Lahore Lions Aim to Outrun Chennai Super Kings in Race to Semis
Lahore Lions take on Perth Scorchers on Tuesday. A big-margin win will put them on level with Chennai Super Kings but ahead of the MS Dhoni-led side in terms of net run rate and hence guarantee them a semifinal spot.
After registering a win against Dolphins in the last encounter, Pakistan champions Lahore Lions will go a for the kill to qualify for the semi-final when they lock horns against a formidable Perth Scorchers in the Champions League T20 Tournament on Monday.
With reigning IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders already in the final-four, Lions would eye to race past Chennai Super Kings on better run-rate to qualify for the semi-final.
Lahore are placed third on the points-table with six points from three games and the Australian outfit is out of contention, as they bagged only four points from three games, but could prove to be party poopers for the Pakistani side.
While Kolkata already qualifying from Group A, Scorchers have one win and a loss in their three games played.
The Muhammad Hafeez-led side will have not only have to rely on a big win against the Australian side but will also have to win to create a mathematical chance for themselves.
Lahore entered the main draw of the tournament following two wins in three matches they played in the Qualifying Group.
They thrashed Mumbai Indians by six wickets with eight balls remaining in the match on September 13.
Lahore's Saad Nasim, Hafeez, Ahmed Shezad and Umar Akmal have been impressive with the bat. They struck 59 and 40 respectively in the match against Kolkata.
Akmal had also impressed in the game against Mumbai Indians in the qualifying round. Hafeez has also been striking well with the bat, scoring a superb 67-run knock in the match against Southern Express.
Lahore bowlers Aizaz Cheema, Wahab Riaz and Imran Ali have been successful in the qualifying matches. But the team will need to put up a very strong all-round performance to make it difficult for the seasoned Chennai side.
On the other hand, the Scorchers may not be mere pushovers for Lahore though they have players who can take the game to the end, in spite of early blows.
Scorchers have Mitchell Marsh in their line-up, who had dispatched seamer Robbie Frylinck for two sixs off last two balls to register a stunning win for his side.
The Scorchers have a bit of experience in their line-up as seasoned chinaman bowler Brad Hogg and Pakistan T20 freelance player Yasir Arafat in their ranks.
However, their top batsmen - Craig Simmons, Ashton Agar, captain Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh and Sam Whiteman - failed to impress in their last match against Chennai. They all would like to be among runs to gain a consolation victory.
Some of their players Whiteman, Joel Paris, Jason Behrendorff with the ball have fared well for the team in the clash with Dolphins.