Kamran Akmal hits first PSL ton as Zalmi clinch 6-wicket victory over Gladiators - GulfToday

Kamran Akmal hits first PSL ton as Zalmi clinch 6-wicket victory over Gladiators


Kamran Akmal celebrates after scoring a century during the Pakistan Super League cricket match in the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on Saturday. AFP

A blistering century by Kamran Akmal earned Peshawar Zalmi an emphatic six-wicket victory over title-holder Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Saturday.

Akmal smashed 101 runs off 55 balls and guided Peshawar to 153-4 in 18.3 overs in reply to Quetta's 148-5.

The 2017 champion recorded its first victory in the Twenty20 tournament after losing its opening game against Karachi Kings.

"My innings benefited my team and that matters to me a lot,” Akmal said. "The real credit (for the win) goes to the bowlers, the way they bowled and restricted the opponents.”

Akmal hit 13 fours and four sixes to record his third century in the PSL after previously scoring hundreds in the United Arab Emirates against Karachi and Lahore Qalandars in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Earlier Quetta, which had defeated two-time champion Islamabad United in the opening game, struggled for runs against a four-man Peshawar pace attack after captain Darren Sammy won the toss and opted to field.

Opening batsman Jason Roy of England top scored with an unbeaten 73 off 57 balls as Wahab Riaz (2-21) and Mohammad Amir (1-24) never allowed the batsmen to score freely and Quetta was restricted to under the 150 mark.

Hasan Ali looked rusty in the first match when he gave away 52 runs in his comeback match from back injury. He couldn’t get a wicket on Saturday but pinned down the batsmen in the latter half of the innings and gave away only 22 runs in his four overs.

Quetta couldn’t recover from Akmal’s early onslaught. Pakistan’s former wicketkeeper-batsman smashed leftarm spinner Mohammad Nawaz for two sixes and two fours in a 21-run first over of the innings and then hit fast bowler Sohail Khan for two fours and a six in the second over.

Nawaz had an off day in the field when he dropped Akmal on 94 at point before the batsman completed his century off a top-edged sweep against legspinner Fawad Ahmed and ran for two.

Akmal was dismissed off the next delivery when he holed out in the deep before Liam Livingstone finished off the match with a straight six off Ahmed.

Later, Multan Sultans, which defeated Lahore in its first match on Friday, will take on Islamabad United at Lahore.

Associated Press

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