Centurion Kamran propels Peshawar Zalmi into playoffs


SHARJAH: A brilliant hundred by Kamran Akmal catapulted Peshawar Zalmi into the playoffs of the third edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL), leaving the fate of Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans hanging in the air.

In today’s must-win game against Lahore Qalandars, Player-of-the-Match Kamran Akmal brought up the first century of this season off 59 balls to help his team chase down 173 with 12 balls and 7 wickets remaining.

In arguably the most memorable performance of this PSL so far, Kamran Akmal remained not out at 107 off 61 balls. His century included 11 fours and 7 sixes, and has made him the highest scorer of this season, ahead of Quetta Gladiators’ Shane Watson.

Peshawar showed no mercy to Lahore’s bowlers from the start, stealing 20 runs off the very first over after a fiery 70 by Anton Devcich lifted Lahore Qalandars to 172-4 earlier.

Opener Riki Wessels was bowled by PSL debutant Kyle Abbott in the second over of the inning. Dwayne Smith failed to click and was bowled by Yasir Shah for 14.

But Kamran Akmal was unstoppable as he reached his hundred with a powerful four.

For Lahore Qalandars, Yasir Shah managed two wickets, and Kyle Abbott took one.

1st inning

Hasan Ali gave Peshawar their first breakthrough when he dismissed opener Fakhar Zaman for 6, after Lahore Qalandars won the toss and opted to bat. Skipper Brendon McCullum failed to fire, with Sameen Gul knocking off his stumps for 7. Wahab Riaz dismissed promising Agha Salman for 28 off 25 balls.

But Anton Devcich remained undeterred, bringing up his 50 from 29 balls to keep the run-rate flying. He was at 70 from 42 balls when he tried to slog and was caught by Mohammad Hafeez at short fine leg.

Hasan Ali took 2 wickets for 24, while Wahab Riaz and Sameen Gul took one each.

Peshawar are now through to the top 4, leaving Karachi and Multan to wait for the result of the last league match of this PSL: Islamabad United vs Karachi Kings.

It will be advantage Karachi: if Karachi win, they’re through. Even if they don’t win, they must not lose by more than 16 runs. If Karachi lose to Islamabad by more than 16 runs, then Multan Sultans will qualify for playoffs and Karachi will be out.

Lahore Qalandars have already been eliminated from the later stages of the tournament.

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