Kusal Perera will be the key player for Southern Express © AFP
Kusal Perera will be the key player for Southern Express © AFP (File photo)

Lahore Lions will take on the Southern Express in the fifth qualifier match of the Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 on Tuesday at Raipur. It will be a crucial game for both the sides with Southern Express playing for pride, as they are almost knocked out after consecutive losses. Rajarshi Majumdar looks at some key battles that may tweak the result of the match.

With two losses on a trot, Southern Express (SE) have almost been knocked out of this edition of CLT20 2014. They will look to get back to winning ways as they still have a mathematical chance to qualify for the main stage if only they defeat the Lahore Lions by a big margin. Whereas, Lahore Lions (LL) too have a chance to qualify if they manage to win this clash and Northern Knights defeat Mumbai Indians in the final qualifier match. Here are some key clashes to watch out for in the penultimate qualifier game between LL and SE:

Kusal Perera versus Adnan Rasool: Kusal Perera can play the pacers well but he struggled against the spinners in the clash against the Mumbai Indians (MI). Harbhajan Singh managed to keep him quiet, which will tempt Mohammad Hafeez to introduce spin upfront. But if Perera is allowed to get away, he can cause some serious problems. Whoever wins this battle can swing the momentum in favour of their respective teams.

Ahmed Shehzad versus Farveez Maharoof: Ahmed Shehzad can hit the ball around the park but it will not be easy for him to score against this witty medium pacer. Farveez Maharoof can showcase a lot of variety while he is bowling. He has this ability to deceive a batsman with his slower balls. So Shehzad needs to be careful while playing this experienced T20 campaigner.

Jehan Mubarak versus Mohammad Hafeez: Jehan Mubarak can be as free flowing as Perera but he will be up against Hafeez, who is difficult to decipher at times. Hafeez rushes through his overs quickly, even before the batsmen can actually realise.

Umar Akmal versus DilruwanPerera and Seekkuge Prasanna: Umar Akmal is a good player of spin but Dilruwan Perera and leggie Seekkuge Prasanna are steady customers. The subcontinent pitches favours spin bowling even if there’s not much turn. Akmal likes to stay back in his crease and hit  out of the park. So it will be interesting to see how these spinners alter their respective lengths against Akmal.

Apart from these battles, Saad Nasim will be a player to watch out for. His gritty knock in their last game against the Northern Knights proved that this 35-year-old still has some cricket left in him.

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 2014 here

(Rajarshi Majumdar is a reporter at CricketCountry. He played cricket for all age levels under the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for over 12 years. Apart from cricket he is an avid follower of football, supports Manchester United and a foodie at heart.)