Lahore Qalandars Defending Champion, Is not Performing: PSL 2024

Why do  Lahore Qalandars struggle in PSL 2024 with their poor performance? Defending Champions transition from table toppers to bottomers!

The defending champions  Lahore Qalandars struggle in the PSL 2024 tournament, despite playing most of the matches in front of its home crowd at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. When compared to the previous season, not only did they win the tournament, but also were the table toppers.

In the previous editions, the Qalandars not only dominated the opposition with the bat but also with the ball.

Contrarily, in the ongoing 9th season of Pakistan Super League,  Lahore Qalandars find themselves at the bottom of the points table. They have lost all 6 matches and one more loss will result in the defending champions becoming the first team to get eliminated from the PSL 2024 tournament.

At present, their chances of  Lahore Qalandars qualifying for the playoffs are very slim. It is only possible if they win all remaining four matches with a huge margin as well as other teams losing the matches sequentially, which is completely impossible.

When other teams are striving to qualify for the playoffs,  Lahore Qalandars struggle in PSL 2024, as they are yet to taste their first victory of the continuing season. As a result, their hopes of claiming a hat-trick of defending champions title completely shatters due to their poor performance.

Unlike the previous season, Shaheen Shah Afridi, the new Pakistan T20 skipper, is unable to lead Qualanders to success.

With 4 more matches remaining against Peshawar Zalmi (2nd March), Islamabad United (6th  March), Karachi Kings (9th March) and Quetta Gladiators (10th March), Shaheen Shah Afridi and his men need to conclude the tournament by winning at least one match to avoid facing humiliation.

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Main Reasons why  Lahore Qalandars struggle in PSL 2024

Here are the main reasons that highlight the two-times defending champions Lahore Qalandars struggle in PSL 2024 season:

1. Rashid Khan’s absence:

Rashid Khan is one of the dominant all-rounders for Afghanistan in limited-overs cricket. He can grab more wickets with his spin bowling techniques as well as bat at the lower middle order to enhance his team’s score.

Rashid had to pull himself out of the PSL 2024 tournament since he hasn’t completely recovered from his back injury. In the previous two editions in which  Lahore Qalandars won, the 25-year-old bowling all-rounder took 31 wickets in 19 matches. He maintained an economy rate of 5.46 (in PSL 2022) and 6.53 (in PSL 2023). 

Additionally, Rashid’s dynamic performance on the field helps to prevent the flow of the opposition team’s runs. Mainly,  Lahore Qalandars struggle in PSL 2024 without having any quality spinner.

2. Ineffective Bowling Attack:

Out of the 6 matches,  Lahore Qalandars lost 4 matches due to its ineffective bowling attack and its inability to prevent the opposition team from chasing targets.

Particularly, these strongest bowlers of the team in the PSL failed to deliver their best performances this season namely:

  • Shaheen Shah Afridi: 9 wickets
  • Haris Rauf: 2 wickets
  • Zaman Khan: 6 wickets
  • Sikandar Raza: 2 wickets

Despite, posting a considerable total batting first, the weaker performance of bowlers made  Lahore Qalandars struggle in PSL 2024. As a result, the team failed to defend the targets against these teams as tabulated below:

DateOpposition Team Lahore Qalandars 1st batting scoreThe opposition Team scores after chasing the targetResult
17th February 2024 (Saturday)Islamabad United195-5 in 20 overs200-2 in 18.2 oversIslamabad United won by 2 wickets 
19th February 2024 (Monday)Quetta Gladiators187-7 in 20 overs188-5 in 19.1 oversQuetta Gladiators won by 5 wickets
21st February 2024 (Wednesday)Multan Sultans166-5 in 20 overs170-5 in 19 oversMultan Sultans won by 5 wickets
24th February 2024 (Saturday)Karachi Kings175-6 in 20 overs176-8 in 20 oversKarachi Kings won by 2 wickets

Similarly, Lahore Qalanders’ poor bowling performance continued while bowling first against these 2 teams. Neither they were able to restrict the opponent team to a low total, nor they were able to chase a high target:

DateOpposition TeamOpposition Team  1st batting scoreLahore Qalandar’s score after chasing the targetResult
25th February 2024 (Sunday)Peshawar Zalmi211-4 in 20 overs203-6 in 20 oversPeshawar Zalmi won by 8 runs
27th February 2024 (Tuesday)Multan Sultans214-4 in 20 overs154-10 in 17 oversMultan Sultans won by 60 runs

3. Change in Middle-order batting positions:

The multiple changes in the batting position for the middle order haven’t provided stability for Lahore Qalandars. However, the top three batting positions of these batsmen remain the same:

  • Sahibzada Farhan
  • Fakhar Zaman
  • van der Dussen

In the first two matches, Abdullah Shafique batted at 4th position and was later replaced by  Sikandar Raza, who played in the same position against Multan Sultans. However, his batting position also changed frequently in the subsequent matches.

The fluctuations in the middle order and inability to strike the perfect combination in the middle order led to the Lahore Qalandars struggle in PSL 2024 as shown in the below table:

Match4th Position5th Position6th Position
Lahore Qalandars vs Islamabad UnitedAbdullah ShafiqueDavid WieseShaheen Afridi
Lahore Qalandars vs Quetta GladiatorsAbdullah ShafiqueJahandad KhanSikandar Raza
Multan Sultans vs Lahore QalandarsSikandar RazaJahandad KhanAbdullah Shafique
Lahore Qalandars vs Karachi KingsJahandad KhanShai HopeSikandar Raza
Lahore Qalandars vs Peshawar ZalmiShai HopeAhsan BhattiJahandad Khan
Lahore Qalandars vs Multan SultansKamran GhulamSikandar RazaShaheen Afridi

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