Pakistan Super League 2016 February 8, 2016

Umar Akmal's 40-ball 93 powers Lahore to big win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Lahore Qalandars 194 for 3 (Akmal 93, Delport 73) beat Quetta Gladiators 131 (Nawaz 42, Gohar 4-14, Mendis 3-17) by 63 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Ahmed Shehzad applauds Umar Akmal following his 40-ball 93 © PSL

Umar Akmal bludgeoned the highest score of the Pakistan Super League, his 40-ball 93 guiding Lahore Qalandars to their first win of the season, against Quetta Gladiators in Dubai. The 63-run defeat was Quetta's first of the tournament, after they had set the early pace with three consecutive wins.

Not many could have seen Akmal's blast coming when Lahore crawled to 62 for 1 in 10 overs. But with Cameron Delport providing the initial spark and Akmal the finishing punch, Lahore cruised to 194 for 3 at the end of 20 overs. The pair added 95 runs in only 42 balls, with Delport smoking a 55-ball 73, an innings that featured eight fours and three sixes. Although the carnage could have been cut short - Akmal survived a close lbw shout off the third ball he faced and Zulfiqar Babar was visibly distraught when it was given not out.

Babar eventually trapped Delport lbw when the batsman attempted an extravagant reverse flick, but any hope Quetta had of drying up the runs were quickly dashed by Akmal, who treated himself to six fours and eight sixes, including 18 runs off the penultimate over, bowled by Umar Gul. Akmal could not reach his maiden T20 ton, but he made sure Quetta needed to score at nearly 10 an over right from the off. They could not.

Lahore's spinners took wickets at regular intervals and only Mohammad Nawaz (42) and Sarfraz Ahmed (31) offered any resistance. Once Sarfraz was dismissed in the 13th over, Quetta lost their next six wickets for 13 runs and folded for 131. Zafar Gohar was the pick of the bowlers, collecting 4 for 14, while Ajantha Mendis chipped in with 3 for 17.

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  • Vijay on February 13, 2016, 16:45 GMT

    10 times fails 1 time pass this is the success story of Mr. U Akmal. ..Just see

  • asad on February 9, 2016, 23:30 GMT

    Good stuff from Umar Akmal. He's definitely capable of these innings which is why I think he should be in the top order for ODI and T20s. For people who are saying that he only performs inconsistently. At least in T20s his record is quite good. We need good aggressive batsmen to win the t20 world cup and if we look at the last t20 world cup then his knock against australia shows that this isn't a one off.

  • Imran on February 9, 2016, 22:40 GMT

    the people who bash Akmal and Shahzad should look the stats of Pakistani batting line up. the so called good players of your choice in likes of Asad Shafeeq, Rizwan and Sohaib Maqsood are not any good in limited over cricket. i liked Nawaz. there are some not getting fair chances are likes of Ammir Yamin. He could be a very handy all-rounder. His batting is better than many in our middle order. I am missing Haris Sohail. he could have benefited quite well here.

  • Jeff on February 9, 2016, 16:43 GMT

    Akmal needs to be given a long stint at No.3/4 position. Ahmed Shezad needs to learn how to pick the gaps for singles, then he could be a top player. Nawaz could turn out to be a genuine all rounder, also impressed by Imad Wasims clean striking and Babar Azam looks good too.

    Pakistan are lacking in upcoming fast bowlers though.They need a couple to accompany Mohammad Amir. Wahab Riaz probably only got 2/3 years left at max pace.

  • crazy on February 9, 2016, 16:31 GMT

    Hope Umar, hafeez continue their form play well in T20 wc.

  • Jeff on February 9, 2016, 15:58 GMT

    U Akmal is the most talented Pak batsman since Mohammad Yousuf. He's not delivered due to bad management/mentoring. Should be allowed to play his natural aggresive game at No3/4, like De Villiers,Mcullum and the like.

    The fact he's been played at No.6 position or as a wicketkeeper batsman last few years and not even in the current ODI side, shows the lack of brain power at captain/selector/management levels in Pak cricket.

    You could argue he has personal issues, but same could be said of just about every Pakistani international cricketer.

  • A on February 9, 2016, 15:51 GMT

    Good batting by Akmal. However despite this display I do not think he or Shehzad should play for Pak. Making significant contribution in a blue moon is not good enough. They both have played enough cricket on the highest level so should take responsibility and contribute regularly. Scoring a fifty in 10/15 matches is just not good enough. Give chances to new players with good attitude and temprament.

  • Pleasure on February 9, 2016, 15:41 GMT

    @ scooby_007: Perhaps Hafeez is little better than the other two & let's hope he performs very well during the WT20 after all it is on indian docile pitches where he can score loads of runs. But the fact is Pakistan needs genuine fearless (not reckless) openers kinda like Saeed Anwar & middle order batsman like Inzi to stabilize batting lineup . Ciao

  • Mohammad on February 9, 2016, 15:11 GMT

    It will be very difficult for Ahmed Shehzad to retain his place in the team after retirement of Shahid Afridi

  • Salman on February 9, 2016, 15:01 GMT

    @karachikids He just recently played a blinder of an innings against very good bowling side of Nz in 2nd T20 not even a month ago. 56 of 24 Balls. We just forget his good innings because we have a bias against him.

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