Qalandar facing early exit as Pindi games washed out

Abdul Mohi Shah
Sunday, Mar 03, 2024

RAWALPINDI: Fears turned into reality as heavy rains ruled out chances of any play on the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Nine double header day Saturday at the Pindi Stadium with all four teams involved getting one point each.

Lahore Qalandars, Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators, and hosts Islamabad United carried an equal share from the rained-out day.

The wet day at Rawalpindi left Lahore Qalandars with an uphill task of making it to the playoffs. The only team in the competition that has completed its seventh game on Saturday now has just one point.

The defending champions have been left with one option and that is to pray for favourable results from other games to get any chance to finish among the top four teams before the playoffs begin.

Even the one point would have gone as a positive outcome for the Lahore Qalandars team which has struggled to match their opponents in the ninth edition. Their bowling has been too soft and so has been their lower-order batting which almost has resulted in curtains for them.

All the other three teams involved in Saturday’s washout did no harm to their chances of making it to the next stage by picking up an important point each.

Quetta Gladiators, currently placed at No. 2 and by far looked like one of the most impressive outfits, go just one point adrift of the current leaders Multan Sultans. With nine points from six outings, Quetta are well on track to seize their place in the playoffs. The one point that the team gained from the washout against United makes them almost a certainty for the knockouts.

Zalmi who were to take on Qalandars on Saturday. also increased their chances of making it to the playoffs, leaving the bottom three teams calculating the options coming their way.

It was a desperate wait for fans as well for teams back in the hotels to see a break in the rain to get the action started. Zalmi and Qalandars even reached the Stadium when for a brief period, some hopes emerged. Team members were seen going through light exercises at the Pindi Stadium in the expectation that a toss might take place.

However, all hopes were dashed soon when rain again started powering, leaving the umpires to call off the match.

Quetta and United teams were forced to stay at the hotel as rain continued to pour down late in the evening making it impossible for groundsmen to remove the cover. The second match was also called off due to persistent showers.

“At one point during the day, umpires were thinking in terms of going ahead with the toss when Zalmi and Qalandars team members started flexing their muscles at the Pindi Stadium. More rain showers soon after ruled out any chances of play,” one of the officials when contacted said.

There was no chance of even going ahead with the preparations of the second match that pitted Quetta against United as by the evening time, the field was overflowing with water. The organisers took no time to call off the second match also.

Following Sunday’s break at the Pindi Stadium, Zalmi will be seen playing against Islamabad United on Monday evening. There is no forecast of any further rain from Sunday onward in Rawalpindi-Islamabad at least for the next week. On Sunday Karachi Kings will play Multan Sultans at National Bank Stadium Karachi.