Sublime Kamran Akmal takes Peshawar Zalmi to playoffs

Opener scores unbeaten century in a seven-wicket victory over Lahore Qalandars

Kamran Akmal played arguably the innings of the tournament to help Peshawar Zalmi book playoffs spot with a seven-wicket win over Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Sharjah on Friday.

In the match where Zalmi had to win to keep their hopes of qualifying for the next round alive, it was Lahore’s captain Brendon McCullum who won the toss and opted to bat first.

His decision proved a correct one as Lahore managed to post more than respectable 172 for the loss of four wickets in their allotted 20 overs.

The star of the show for Qalandars was opener Anton Devcich, who scored brilliant 70 off 42 balls with the help of two fours and seven maximums. He was well-supported by young Agha Salman, who scored 28 off 25 with the help of two sixes.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Gulraiz Sadaf and Sohail Akthar also played handy cameos of unbeaten 26 and 30 off 21 and 16 balls respectively.For Zalmi, pacer Hasan Ali was the pick of the bowlers as he claimed figures of two for 24 in his four overs. In reply, Zalmi lost two wickets early and at one stage, it seemed that they might well miss out on the playoffs spot.

However, a 87-run third-wicket partnership between Akmal and Hafeez sealed a comfortable victory for the defending champions with more than two overs to spare.

Kamran Akmal played a breathtaking knock of unbeaten 107 off just 61 balls with the help of 11 fours and seven maximums. He was well supported by veteran middle-order batsman Mohammad Hafeez, who scored 28 off 25 with the help of two fours and one six.

For Qalandars, leg-spinner Yasir Shah was the most successful bowler on the night as he claimed figures of two for 40 in his four overs. For his outstanding innings,  Kamran Akmal was named the player of the match.

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