15 Mar Peshawar Zalmi cruise to playoffs after Kamran Akmal century
Peshawar Zalmi: Darren Sammy (c), Kamran Akmal (wk), Riki Wessels, Mohammad Hafeez, Dwayne Smith, Saad Nasim, Liam Dawson, Umaid Asif, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Sameen Gul.
Lahore Qalandars: Brendon McCullum (c,), Gulraiz Sadaf (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Agha Salman, Sohail Akhtar, Anton Devcich, Kyle Abbott, Bilal Asif, Yasir Shah, Mitchell McClenaghan, Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Toss: Lahore Qalandars won the toss and chose to bat.
Lahore Qalandars Innings
Zalmi’s side remained unchanged from the last victory against Quetta Gladiators. A must win for Zalmi tonight in order to qualify. Skipper Darren Sammy stated before the match, ‘whatever we do, we need to do well.’ Anton Devcich and Fakhar Zaman walked out. Zaman on strike and Hasan Ali opened the bowling. No change in the pattern from the batting side, got off to a flying start but the star bowler, Hasan Ali, struck in his second over when he dismissed the big man, Fakhar Zaman, who managed to score just 6 runs off 11 deliveries. He tried to cart the back of a length delivery over the leg side but the ball curved in, kissed the inside edge and smashed into off-stump. Qalandars’ captain, Brendon McCullum joined Devcich on crease, but after a short time, he was sent back to the stands by the young bowler, Sameen Gul. At the end of the first powerplay, Lahore stood 49/2.
The opening batsman, Anton Devcich rose up to the occasion, steered the target with his remarkable 42-ball 70, after being dropped twice in the match. He was radiantly supported by Agha Salman, who scored 28 off 25 balls.
In the last five overs, the partnership between Gulraiz Sadaf and Sohail Akhtar gave Zalmi a late scare. Both stood for a 54-run partnership and boosted the total of 173 runs for Zalmi to chase. Lahore Qalandars managed to score 30 runs in the last 3 overs.
Fall of Wickets:
1-19 (Fakhar Zaman, 2.5 over)
2-40 (Brendon McCullum, 4.6 over)
3-95 (Agha Salman, 11.6 over)
4-119 (Anton Devcich, 14.5 over)
Peshawar Zalmi Innings
A change in the opening partnership from the last win, Riki Wessels joined Kamran Akmal. With scoring 19 runs in the initial over of Anton Devcich, Zalmi lost an early wicket. Kyle Abbott struck on his first ball into the HBL PSL dismissing Riki Wessels who managed to score only 4 runs. Kamran Akmal continued his destructive innings with hitting skillful drives and cover shots. After the end of the powerplay, Zalmi were 57/1.
After losing another wicket just after the powerplay, Mohammad Hafeez came on crease and stabled the condition of the match. He played some easy shots looking for singles and doubles while Kamran on the other end, showed pure aggression. By the time 13th over arrived, Zalmi needed 67 more runs.
Having reached his half-century in the 12th over, Akmal continued to march on. Despite a bout of cramps, Akmal completed his fourth T20 century and this season’s first century. His undefeated 61-ball 107 was influential in Peshawar gunning down the highest total in this year’s tournament so far.
Lahore remains at the bottom of the table and out of the tournament, Peshawar qualifies for the play-offs. The target didn’t quite seem enough on that Sharjah pitch, and particularly not against Peshawar Zalmi as they strolled to the target with two overs to spare.
Fall of Wickets:
1-20 (Riki Wessels, 1.1 over)
2-61 (Dwayne Smith, 6.3 over)
3-148 (Mohammad Hafeez, 15.5 over)