CLT20 bite-size preview: Lahore Lions
They have no Misbah to rescue them, nor an Afridi to smash at the death, so their lack of consistency, as well as not playing together in months, will be their downfall.
<b>Brief Overview:</b> The Lions qualify for the tournament thanks to their win in Pakistan's Super 8 T20, beating Faisalabad in the final. The Wolves were last year's entrants from Pakistan, as the country only started participating in 2012, due to the political tension with India. They nearly didn't get visas to go to the event, but those came through at the last minute.
<b>Key Strength:</b> On paper, the side's batting line up is quite excellent, if they all come to the party. With international players like Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad there, they could rack up some serious runs.
<b>Probable Weakness:</b> Conversely, given how unpredictable Pakistan as a national side are, this could all go badly wrong. They have no Misbah to rescue them, nor an Afridi to smash at the death, so their lack of consistency, as well as not playing together in months, will be their downfall.
<b>Batsman To Watch:</b> Opener Ahmed Shehzad has that Virat Kohli-like look, both physically and with the bat, and he was in decent form in the ODI series in Sri Lanka, including a half century. He can be explosive when he gets going, but that is hit-and-miss most of the time.
<b>Bowler To Watch:</b> Hafeez is considered a batting all-rounder, but tends to do better with the ball these days. He took eight wickets in three games in Sri Lanka, and was part of the Amazon side that reached the Caribbean Premier League final.
<b>Squad:</b> Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Siddique Khan, Umar Akmal, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Salman Ali, Asif Raza, Mohammad Mustafa Iqbal, Wahab Riaz, Aizaz Cheema, Imran Ali, Saad Naseem, Adnan Rasool, Mohammad Saeed, Ali Manzoor.
<b>Toughest Fixture:</b> Their first game is against current champions Mumbai, on 13 September in Raipur, and they thus need to come out all guns blazing to even reach the tournament proper. But we reckon they can.
<b>They Said:</b> Skipper Mohammad Hafeez: "We have the experience of six international cricketers and have quality players from our first-class set-up, who have an urge to represent Pakistan. So we have the right spirit in the team and we are ready for the challenge."
<b>Cricket365's Prediction:</b> 10th, stone last.
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