Another Kamran Akmal’s master blaster was enough to help Peshawar Zalmi cement their place in the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL)’s third edition courtesy 13 runs win over Karachi Kings at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Wednesday.
The match was affected by rain and it was reduced to 16-over-a-side. It was Kings stand-in captain Mohammad Amir who won the toss and opted to field first.His decision, however, backfired as Zalmi posted a monumental total of 170 for the loss of seven wickets in their allotted 16 overs.
At one stage, it looked as if Zalmi will post a total in excess of 180 after a stunning 109-run opening partnership, but a flurry of wickets at the back end of the innings halted their progress.The star of the show for Zalmi was once again wicketkeeper-batsman Akmal, who scored a breathtaking 77 off just 27 balls, including five fours and seven maximums. He was well supported by fellow opener Andre Fletcher (34 off 30) and captain Darren Sammy (23 off 12).For Kings, all-rounder Ravi Bopara was the most successful bowler on the night with three wickets. However, captain Amir was the standout performer, as he gave away just 16 runs in his four overs when his team went for nearly 11 runs per over.
In reply, Kings lost opener, Mukhtar Ahmed, early in the second over and fell behind the required rate, even without losing any further wickets.Even though opener Joe Denly and Babar Azam tried their best to reduce the run-rate, but their efforts were not enough as Kings only managed to score 157 in their 16 overs at the expense of two wickets.
Denly remained not out on 79 off 46 with the help of nine fours and four sixes, whereas Azam scored 65 off 45 balls, including six fours and two sixes. For Peshawar Zalmi, pacers Hasan Ali and Sameen Gul claimed a wicket each.