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October 25, 2008
Match factsOct 26, 2008
Big PictureSlow to start off with, the Lahore Badshahs have picked up steam in their last two games, so much so that bottom-placed Mumbai Champs were steamrolled comprehensively with Imran Nazir smashing a 38-ball 83. The performance of the Delhi Giants, next to bottom, has been uninspiring as well, and they would be wary of a batting line-up that can manage to score 50 runs in 15 balls. (Lahore did it against Mumbai.)
Marvan Atapattu's Delhi haven't performed consistently with the bat, and despite the presence of Shane Bond, one would pick the Lahore attack as the more potent one - they have more variety as well. Mushtaq Ahmed, recently appointed the ECB's spin coach, has not played a game yet, and his addition would be another obstacle for Delhi to overcome.
Where they rankLahore are currently in third place, but either the Hyderabad Heroes or Chandigarh Lions - or both, if it's a tie - will move up ahead of them following the first game of Sunday's double-header. A win over Delhi will put them back in the top four, but Lahore will need to keep winning to stay clear of Hyderabad and Chandigarh, both of whom have played lesser matches.
Delhi just have Mumbai below them in the points table, and they pretty much need to win their remaining four matches to reach the semi-finals. The top two teams, Royal Bengal Tigers and Chennai Superstars, have eight points from five games; if Delhi win all, they will be on ten points after playing their eight.
Form guide (most recent match first)Lahore Badshahs: WWLL
Players to watchWith explosive batsmen at the top, Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Lahore captain, has been content with holding fort in the middle order. Injury ruled him out of the game against the Chennai Superstars. He has just been dismissed once this season, with 55 runs in three innings, at a strike-rate of 96.49.
S Abbas Ali has played the most games in the ICL for Delhi, 18, but the middle-order batsman will need to do better than his average of 13.50 this season to justify a place in the team. A big score is due, but will be able to deliver?
Quotes"I don't think we are rebels. It is very disappointing to see that we are given step-motherly treatment. We are professional players and cricket is our bread and butter"
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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