Faisalabad Wolves v Otago Volts, CLT20 qualifier, Mohali September 16, 2013

International stars vie for main stage

The Preview by Rohan Sharma
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Match Facts

September 17, 2013
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big Picture

The first match of the qualifying round is significant for both teams because Faisalabad Wolves are making their Champions League debut, and Otago Volts, after failing to qualify for any of the previous editions since the inaugural tournament in 2009, get another crack. After some uncertainty as to whether Faisalabad would feature in the tournament, the first qualifier will go ahead as planned.

Faisalabad possess a number of key players who could help propel their campaign into the group stage. They are led by Misbah-ul-Haq, who has enjoyed a consistent run of good form in limited-overs cricket over the past eighteen months. They also have one of the most dangerous spinners in the game in Saeed Ajmal, whose personal performance will help determine how far Faisalabad progress in the tournament. Ehsan Adil and Asad Ali's limited international experience will hold them in good stead as they round off a decent bowling attack.

Otago come in as one of the tournament's surprise packages. Led by Derek de Boorder, the squad consists of a number of former and current international players. Brendon McCullum, whose T20 exploits are well known, is a key figure. With Ian Butler, Neil Wagner and Nathan McCullum as well, Otago have an attack that can compete against some of the more illustrious sides in the tournament. They will, however, be without their Netherlands allrounder, Ryan ten Doeschate, who is still tied up with commitments for Essex, at least for the first game.

Players to watch

Brendon McCullum will forever be associated with Twenty20 cricket. He smashed an unbeaten 158 in the inaugural match of the IPL in 2008, and an audacious 116* against a fiery Australian attack that included some scoops off the 150kph Shaun Tait. On his day, McCullum can take apart any international attack. The bowling partnership between Nick Beard and Jacob Duffy will also play a vital role as they tied for first on the wicket-takers' list at the HRV Cup - 15 each. How they fare on flatter Indian pitches will be an indicator of Otago's chances.

Asif Ali finished as the third leading run-scorer in the Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup. He scored 152 runs in five innings at an average of 50.66 and strike rate of 129.91. In the tournament final, he was involved in a match-turning partnership with Misbah after Sialkot Stallions had reduced Faisalabad to 79 for 3 in the 13th over. The pair put on 79 in 46 balls, which proved the difference as Faisalabad won by 36 runs. Ali ended up getting his highest score of the tournament in that match, an unbeaten 70 off 49 balls.

Stats and Trivia

  • Faisalabad's Ehsan Adil finished on top of the wicket-takers list in the Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup this year with 12 scalps in five matches
  • Otago Volts had won nine games on the trot in the HRV cup this season en route to qualifying for the Champions League

Quotes

''All the teams have got players with X-factor. Our first concern is about the Wolves and Misbah-ul-Haq and one or two other internationals in their team."
Vaughn Johnson, the Otago Volts coach

"This is a positive sign. I think it will be the first step towards reviving Indo-Pak cricket, which is so cruelly suspended."
Faisalabad Wolves manager, Haroon Rasheed, sees the granting of visas as a welcome breakthrough in relations

Rohan Sharma is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY andrew27994 on | September 16, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    While Faisalabad have one of the best bowling attacks in this tournament they might be badly exposed in the batting department which is heavily reliant on Misbah and Asif Ali. Otago don't have a great bowling attack but it will do against a mediocre batting lineup like the Wolves and their batting looks strong with the inclusion of Ryan ten Doeschate. However, Otago bowlers will be tested on subcontinent tracks where Faisalabad players will feel more accustomed to. Both these teams could be considered as the underdogs because if you look at the qualifier teams' strength as per records and form, the strongest on paper are SRH and Kandurata. But we know that the toss and conditions can make a massive impact on the outcome so looking forward to a good contest tomorrow.

  • POSTED BY first_slip on | September 17, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Trindad & Tobago is in main draw! well that's beyond me, these Qualifying teams are miles better than them,

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    Misbah-ul-Haq will play the Imp role in the Match.... best Of Luck Wolves.....pakistan zindabad....:-)

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    Goood Luckkk Wolvessss.... Happy for Misbah & Co... and appreciate BCCI & Indian Govt for Visazzz

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 17, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    To be honest I think Otago look like a pretty good side, with McCullum, Rutherford at the top of the order, the experience of N McCullum and Ian Butler in the bowling to go with some young talents like Wagner, Duffy and Jimmy Neesham. It is a shame they don't have ten Doeschate to call on for the game though.

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    Faislabad wolves is my home team here in Pakistan. now you people are right team looks weaker in betting and stronger in bowling. but the same team defeated all other star studded teams of Pakistan in Aprail. Misbah was rocking there with Around 300 runs in 5 matches with highest No. of tornament sixes, Leaded from front, so his performance is definatly a big factor here too. But beside that look out for openers too Ali waqas and specialy Farrukh shezad, bcoz if he gets going u ll forget richard levi and B.mcculam. Asif Ali is also an good tellent who hit T20 100 on debut at age of 19, So hopefully once again this teams ll be a surprise package Inshallah. as whenever any Pakistan team consider as weaker or underdogs, they rise as dark horse..BEST OF LUCK F.Wolves ...INSHALLAH u ll rock

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | September 17, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    Majority of players in both teams are new faces, so its gonna be an even contest in the opener..... Good Luck to both !!!!!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 17, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    Best of luck Misbah n Company :)

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | September 17, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    Common wolves show ur true spirit...

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    The most meaningless tounament in cricket, to me... A tournament designed for the IPL teams, or maybe an Australian or South African team at the most!! Why are the other teams even invited? If someone like Sangakkara can forsake his home side for Sunrisers Hyderabad, or worse still, Trinidad have to put up with their two top guns (Bravo and Pollard) representing IPL sides, what is the point in calling them over just to fill in the numbers? At least the ruling that each player should, if possible, represent a franchise from his home nation in the CLT20 would make things fairer!!!

  • POSTED BY andrew27994 on | September 16, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    While Faisalabad have one of the best bowling attacks in this tournament they might be badly exposed in the batting department which is heavily reliant on Misbah and Asif Ali. Otago don't have a great bowling attack but it will do against a mediocre batting lineup like the Wolves and their batting looks strong with the inclusion of Ryan ten Doeschate. However, Otago bowlers will be tested on subcontinent tracks where Faisalabad players will feel more accustomed to. Both these teams could be considered as the underdogs because if you look at the qualifier teams' strength as per records and form, the strongest on paper are SRH and Kandurata. But we know that the toss and conditions can make a massive impact on the outcome so looking forward to a good contest tomorrow.

  • POSTED BY first_slip on | September 17, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Trindad & Tobago is in main draw! well that's beyond me, these Qualifying teams are miles better than them,

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    Misbah-ul-Haq will play the Imp role in the Match.... best Of Luck Wolves.....pakistan zindabad....:-)

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    Goood Luckkk Wolvessss.... Happy for Misbah & Co... and appreciate BCCI & Indian Govt for Visazzz

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 17, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    To be honest I think Otago look like a pretty good side, with McCullum, Rutherford at the top of the order, the experience of N McCullum and Ian Butler in the bowling to go with some young talents like Wagner, Duffy and Jimmy Neesham. It is a shame they don't have ten Doeschate to call on for the game though.

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    Faislabad wolves is my home team here in Pakistan. now you people are right team looks weaker in betting and stronger in bowling. but the same team defeated all other star studded teams of Pakistan in Aprail. Misbah was rocking there with Around 300 runs in 5 matches with highest No. of tornament sixes, Leaded from front, so his performance is definatly a big factor here too. But beside that look out for openers too Ali waqas and specialy Farrukh shezad, bcoz if he gets going u ll forget richard levi and B.mcculam. Asif Ali is also an good tellent who hit T20 100 on debut at age of 19, So hopefully once again this teams ll be a surprise package Inshallah. as whenever any Pakistan team consider as weaker or underdogs, they rise as dark horse..BEST OF LUCK F.Wolves ...INSHALLAH u ll rock

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | September 17, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    Majority of players in both teams are new faces, so its gonna be an even contest in the opener..... Good Luck to both !!!!!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 17, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    Best of luck Misbah n Company :)

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | September 17, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    Common wolves show ur true spirit...

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    The most meaningless tounament in cricket, to me... A tournament designed for the IPL teams, or maybe an Australian or South African team at the most!! Why are the other teams even invited? If someone like Sangakkara can forsake his home side for Sunrisers Hyderabad, or worse still, Trinidad have to put up with their two top guns (Bravo and Pollard) representing IPL sides, what is the point in calling them over just to fill in the numbers? At least the ruling that each player should, if possible, represent a franchise from his home nation in the CLT20 would make things fairer!!!

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    I wish Misbah and his boys all the best and I prefer them to qualify. With Ajamal, in the attack they should be doing well in today's match. All the best Ajmal and we are here to support you. gopi

  • POSTED BY Siva_Bala75 on | September 17, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Next few weeks should be good fun watching this. Hope a few new names come to limelight. Best wishes to all the teams.

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2013, 3:05 GMT

    Wolves don't have many of big names but they don't won national trophy because of big names they won because misbahs captaincy was too good.and he will do it again.BEST OF LUCK MISBAH AND CO.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 17, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    Good luck wolves.its nice to see finally they got Visa to come n compete

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    CLT20 is a joke, i am more interested in India A vs WI A rather than watching any of the CL games, we know how boring it was last year and i expect nothing more this time around, even IPL makes me chuckle in terms of quality

  • POSTED BY kc69 on | September 17, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    They lack batting technique but Pakistani's are really good aggressive players when in comes to T20 side(remove the word aggression for one player named Misbah).Still believe Saeed Ajmal will make a huge impact in their victories.

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    hope they will do good,indian pitches are not that much dull like pakistani pitches their are some good bouncy pitches there too, unlike pakistani batting friendly pitches,,, so i guess in here wolves have a little edge in here , coz of almost same environment but will see what happens on match day when pitch is revealed

  • POSTED BY unlocker on | September 16, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    Can here any cricket expert who's know tomorrow first match qualifying round who can win ? Wolves have no more batting power and ontogo have bat but wolves have huge bowling action .so where I i can invest my money ?

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    Thumbs up for Faisalabad Wolves,,,,,,,he will be qualify for CLT20 AND will won all the matches

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | September 16, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    The make up of the teams as per players strength is not fair at all. Some teams are stacked up with eleven Internationals and 5-6 Superstars whereas teams like Otago and Wolves barely possess one or two Internationals.

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    Best of Luck wolves............... we all backing up Misbah and company..... Our Bowling attack is balanced and hope batters will give enough rns to defend... good luck woolves... have ur frst hunt......

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    New Zealand teams have struggled in CLT20. They never won a single game till Auckland Aces won 2 qualifiers to qualify for main event and 1 match later. Otago will have to come strong as a team and winning tomorrow's game is the first step towards qualifying.

    Faisalabad Wolves also have a young team but similar conditions is a bonus to them. A lot depends on Ajmal but others have to chip in as well

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    may be difficult for faisalabad wolves............atleast this tournament will give exposure their players to face off international clubs of champion sides of respective countries...............only problem for them in qualifier is sunriser hyderabad and remaining 2 not a difficult task for them because condition will suit them.....Good luck Faisalabad Wolves :) keep rocking and shocking the world :)

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    best of luck to wolves, Sialkot disappointed in previous edition . i hope wolves do a bit better this time. both teams look good with some good names.

  • POSTED BY fayyaz03 on | September 16, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Wolves, just like their National Side Pakistan have a very very strong bowling attack and very weak batting resources. But still all the best to them!

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    Wolves are very light in batting. Lahore, Karachi and Sialkot are traditional powerhouses of T20 cricket but Wolves got better of them and hence have a crack.

  • POSTED BY liaqathussain on | September 16, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    Good luck wolves, hope some of the player who ant experienced international cricketer get to see what its all about and aspire to improve themselves to that level

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    So many Interesting thinG about very 1st match of the Qualifier worth's CL T20 Tournament. No doubt, Otago has everything to impress BUT they need to pass through from the Consistency of Misbah in BattinG & Magic of Ajmal. We will not definitely miss M Hafeez, Just because, we have Khurram Shehzad - A genuine Photo Copy as far as utility player is concern. Niazi, Asad Ali & Ehsan Adil makes the attack so much baLanced! Imran Khalid can do couple of things.. So, my aLL support for woLves & my wishes for them to Lift a Trophy at End. All the Best wishes - My Team!

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    So many Interesting thinG about very 1st match of the Qualifier worth's CL T20 Tournament. No doubt, Otago has everything to impress BUT they need to pass through from the Consistency of Misbah in BattinG & Magic of Ajmal. We will not definitely miss M Hafeez, Just because, we have Khurram Shehzad - A genuine Photo Copy as far as utility player is concern. Niazi, Asad Ali & Ehsan Adil makes the attack so much baLanced! Imran Khalid can do couple of things.. So, my aLL support for woLves & my wishes for them to Lift a Trophy at End. All the Best wishes - My Team!

  • POSTED BY liaqathussain on | September 16, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    Good luck wolves, hope some of the player who ant experienced international cricketer get to see what its all about and aspire to improve themselves to that level

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    Wolves are very light in batting. Lahore, Karachi and Sialkot are traditional powerhouses of T20 cricket but Wolves got better of them and hence have a crack.

  • POSTED BY fayyaz03 on | September 16, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Wolves, just like their National Side Pakistan have a very very strong bowling attack and very weak batting resources. But still all the best to them!

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    best of luck to wolves, Sialkot disappointed in previous edition . i hope wolves do a bit better this time. both teams look good with some good names.

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    may be difficult for faisalabad wolves............atleast this tournament will give exposure their players to face off international clubs of champion sides of respective countries...............only problem for them in qualifier is sunriser hyderabad and remaining 2 not a difficult task for them because condition will suit them.....Good luck Faisalabad Wolves :) keep rocking and shocking the world :)

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    New Zealand teams have struggled in CLT20. They never won a single game till Auckland Aces won 2 qualifiers to qualify for main event and 1 match later. Otago will have to come strong as a team and winning tomorrow's game is the first step towards qualifying.

    Faisalabad Wolves also have a young team but similar conditions is a bonus to them. A lot depends on Ajmal but others have to chip in as well

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    Best of Luck wolves............... we all backing up Misbah and company..... Our Bowling attack is balanced and hope batters will give enough rns to defend... good luck woolves... have ur frst hunt......

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | September 16, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    The make up of the teams as per players strength is not fair at all. Some teams are stacked up with eleven Internationals and 5-6 Superstars whereas teams like Otago and Wolves barely possess one or two Internationals.

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    Thumbs up for Faisalabad Wolves,,,,,,,he will be qualify for CLT20 AND will won all the matches