Kamran Akmal showed why Pakistan are looking in the wrong direction when it comes to finding power-hitters as he smashed a massive 13 fours and four sixes during his 101-run innings to help Peshawar Zalmi chase 149-run target against Quetta Gladiators on Saturday at the National Stadium of Karachi.
Quetta, who won the PSL5 opening encounter against Islamabad United, had to face defeat after Peshawar won the toss and elected to field first, just what losing captain Sarfaraz would have loved to do. However, Jason Roy tried to prove Peshawar wrong with a well-struck 73 off 57 runs courtesy six fours and one six. The England international stayed unbeaten to add enough decency to Quetta’s score.
He was assisted by captain Sarfaraz, who scored 41 off 25 balls with the help of five boundaries and a six. Sarfaraz was dismissed by Peshawar captain Sammy as Tom Banton took the catch. Other than the two, no other batsman was able to inspire Quetta as they could only muster up 148 in their 20 overs after losing five wickets only.
For Peshawar, Wahab Riaz was the best man with the ball as he grabbed two scalps in his four overs and gave away only 21 runs. Meanwhile, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Amir Khan and Dareen Sammy bagged one wicket each for Peshawar.
In pursuit of the not-so-difficult 149-run target, Kamran and Banton started the innings for Peshawar. Banton scored three runs off six balls and then fell to Tymal Mills after edging one to keeper Sarfaraz.
Then onwards it was all Kamran as the wicketkeeper-batsman seemed unbeatable with the bat. He completed his fifty and celebrated in a modest way just to show that he was not going away without a ton to his name.
On 99, Kamran did show some nerves as he tried to steal a single from a closed-in field but thanks to his partner’s early call, he ran back and made it to the crease. Kamran then got his chance to complete his ton when Shoaib Malik tried to clear the straight boundary with a six, but was caught by the long-on fielder. Kamran in the process ran and came to the batting end with Fawad Ahmed bowling.
The right-handed batsman slog-swept him towards fine leg and ran two to complete his century off 54 balls. Kamran had done the job he was hired for and on the next ball, he tried to slog-sweep again, this time however, being caught at the long leg boundary. With only nine needed off too many balls and too many wickets in hands, Peshawar were taken easily past the finish line by Liam Dawson and Liam Livingstone.