Quetta Gladiators were fresh from their victory in the opening game against the Islamabad United. But the defending champions couldn’t hold on to their momentum against the Peshawar Zalmi in Karachi. Sarfaraz Ahmed and Co went down at the National Stadium by six wickets. Kamran Akmal notched his sixth T20 century helped the Zalmi register first points in the 2020 edition of the PSL.
Roy shoulders the Gladiators
The Gladiators, after being put in to bat first, couldn’t up the ante at any stage of their innings. Shane Watson’s travails continued as Wahab Riaz got rid of him. 18-year-old Amir Khan accounted for Ahmed Shehzad’s wicket. From there, it was Jason Roy and Sarfaraz Ahmed’s 62-run stand that injected some momentum for the Gladiators. Roy made amends after his duck in the opener.
He got to his fifty off 40 balls and went on to score an unbeaten 73 off 57 with six fours and a six. Sarfaraz looked fluent, contributing 41 off 25 balls. Barring the duo, none of the batters looked at ease. In the end, they managed an under-par 148. For the Zalmi, Riaz was the standout with two scalps. Hasan Ali also made a comeback with an economy of 5.50, though he couldn’t get a wicket.
Akmal switches on demolition mode
The Zalmi’s run-chase was mostly about Kamran Akmal. The opener threw the kitchen sink at everything right from the outset and never allowed any pressure to build. On the back of his audacious stroke-play, Peshawar managed 69 runs in the powerplay. He notched his fifty off 20 balls and kept the Gladiators’ bowlers at bay. The 19-year-old Haider Ali lent him support with 25 runs.
Akmal got to his century off 54 balls, but couldn’t see his team through. Fawad Ahmed nipped him out in the 17th over with seven runs needed. Kamran went on to score 101 off 55 with the help of 13 fours and four sixes. Though the Zalmi lost a few late wickets, it wasn’t enough for the Gladiators to stage a comeback. The Quetta innings slowed down a wee bit, but the team won with nine balls left.
Here’s how Twitterati lauded Kamran and the Zalmi: –
Kamran Akmal smacked his third ton in PSL. #PSL #PSL2020 @KamiAkmal23 pic.twitter.com/adleG2qoBD
— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) February 22, 2020
Total centuries in PSL till date are 6. Kamran Akmal bags 3
Colin Ingram 127*
Sharjeel Khan 117
Kamran Akmal 107*
Kamran Akmal 104
Kamran Akmal 101
#PZvQG #QGvPZ #PSLV2020
— Saharyab Afridi (@SaharyabA) February 22, 2020
Kamran Akmal is a good player, i like him, and yes he’s been doing well in the PSL each year, but idk if it’d be wise to pick him again knowing how below average & inconsistent he has been with Pakistan, especially the last few times he was selected.
— Livaï (@BrownParisian2) February 22, 2020
Kamran Akmal is officially a doctor today. Dr. Kamran Akmal
— Anaam Shafique (@ShfqueA) February 22, 2020
Third century how cool !!!
Now as we need aggressive wkt keeper batsman, we shouldn’t avoid Kamran Akmal at any cost.
— Farwa Ali (@Farwa_Alii) February 22, 2020
Kamran Akmal for WT20? I know this is a backward step, but he’s really strong on the back foot which would be key in Australia.
— Kalim Khan (@Kallerz37) February 22, 2020
Kamran akmal is psl legend👍💪 pcb destroyed his Carrier😏
— Debasish singh (@Debasis00128879) February 22, 2020
Another PSL, Another Kamran Hundred. What a player.
Should be in Pakistan team for World T20.
Class act pic.twitter.com/x4mHSYSmQB
— Abdul Ghaffar (@GhaffarDawnNews) February 22, 2020
After today’s performance kamran Akmal be like#psl5 pic.twitter.com/s7wOLm81iY
— ANEEB IBRAHIM (@aneeb_Sardar) February 22, 2020
This is really sad when you scored decent 40 runs as a wicket keeper in match but Kamran Akmal scored century on same game and get complete attention from viewers! 🤭😋 pic.twitter.com/KrR0tJkOTX
— Sherlock MIND 🔥 (@Dreamerdude12) February 22, 2020
Centurions in PSL history:
127* Colin Ingram in 2019
117 Cameron Delport in 2019
117 Sharjeel Khan in 2016
107* Kamran Akmal in 2018
104 Kamran Akmal in 2017
101 Kamran Akmal in 2020#PSL #Cricket
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) February 22, 2020
If Kamran Akmal got as many chances as Fakhar got in t20. It would more effective in my humble opinion. His 4th ODI hundred. Top PSL scorer for a reason. Gets too much credit but deserves a chance too
— Sameer Hussain (@iSameeeraG) February 22, 2020
What a century ! What a classic innings by this man
Salute to kamran bahi❤#kamranakmal pic.twitter.com/S2tybAsIyt
— Monster🔥🇵🇰 (@kakar_turab) February 22, 2020
Kamran Akmal Today:
– Fastest 50 of #PSL5 so far
– First 100 of #PSL2020
– Only Batsman in #HBLPSL to score 3 💯
– 3rd Fastest 50 in #PSL overall
– 6th PSL 100 overall#PSL2020 #PSL5 pic.twitter.com/t5OGVHpRn0
— M_Minha 🇵🇰 (@Minha_Afridi) February 22, 2020
Kamran Akmal has always replied with his bat on the field. Something Umar is not learning #PSL2020
— BalleBazz (@BazzBalle) February 22, 2020
Kamran Akmal in Psl history:
Most runs: 1430
Most centuries: 3
Most sixes: 73
Most matches: 47 #QGvPZ pic.twitter.com/OZhaAZJWzA
— Sajjad ( Lahore Qalandars♥️) (@Sicilian__Mafia) February 22, 2020
Kamran Akmal to other PZ batsmen rn pic.twitter.com/8ouJR3uzRa
— Malangni (@abigail1oo1) February 22, 2020
Fastest 50s in PSL (by balls)
17 Kamran Akmal v KK, 2018
17 Asif Ali v LQ, 2019
19 Luke Ronchi v KK, 2018
20 KAMRAN AKMAL v QG, today
21 Kieron Pollard v IU, 2019#PSL5 pic.twitter.com/uzlWZCIwFD
— Muhammad Noman (@Nomancricket29) February 22, 2020