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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Umar Akmal, bowlers propel Quetta Gladiators to easy win

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Saqlain: Pakistan need Umar Akmal for the World Cup (3:03)

Former Pakistan offspinner Saqlain Mushtaq on his star of the match Umar Akmal, who hit 75* in 50 balls to help Quetta defeat Peshawa (3:03)

Quetta Gladiators 161 for 4 (Umar 75*, Sarfaraz 37, Wahab 2-18) beat Peshawar Zalmi 155 for 4 (Misbah 49*, Kamran 49, Mohammad Nawaz 2-25) by six wickets

How the game played out

He may have been cast out into the wilderness by the Pakistan cricket team, but Umar Akmal found a way back into the country's collective conscience with an unbeaten 50-ball 76 that helped his side cruise to victory against last year's runners-up Peshawar Zalmi. Chasing 156 and having lost Ahmed Shehzad off the first ball, Umar Akmal held his side's innings together, most notably in a 62-run partnership with Sarfaraz Ahmed to reset Quetta back on course. When Sarfaraz fell, Umar was on hand to apply the finishing touches in what ended up being a comfortable run chase.

Peshawar Zalmi owed much of their competitiveness to Umar's older brother, with Kamran Akmal having got Darren Sammy's side off to a brisk start. They were solidly positioned at 70 for one after nine overs, but once Kamran holed out, the runscoring began to slow down. Only a late charge from Misbah-ul-Haq and Liam Dawson got them above 150, but with Quetta having dominated the middle overs, it was a few runs too short.

Turning points

  • Rocking along nicely with Kamran and Sohaib Maqsood at the crease, the wheels came dramatically off Peshawar once the opener was dismissed by Mohammad Nawaz. From that point on, Peshawar managed just 25 runs off the next 30 balls, losing another two wickets along the way. It completely robbed them off the platform they had looked to build to tee off in the final five overs

  • Darren Sammy's decision to send Liam Dawson ahead of himself was a curious one, especially so with Misbah at the other end. Misbah had endured a slow start, while Kieron Pollard didn't get going. While Dawson didn't disgrace himself - 21 off 14 is more than respectable - Peshawar were well behind par and needed Sammy's destructive power more than they required Dawson's subtle guile.

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    Imperious Umar Akmal wins it for Quetta Gladiators

    Umar Akmal powered an unbeaten 75 to push his side over the line against Peshawar Zalmi

Star of the day

Umar Akmal ensured his side would get off to a winning start, but it was the trio of local bowlers Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Irfan and Ghulam Mudassar who saw to it that the target was manageable. Strikingly contrasting bowlers, Nawaz's left arm spin, Mohammad Irfan's bowling off the wrong foot and Mudassar's raw left-arm pace combined to concede 76 off 12 overs. They were also responsible for all four Peshawar wickets that fell, and striking at the times they did ensured Peshawar could never build a head of steam after Kamran Akmal's dismissal.

The big miss

One might have feared Quetta had a few too many characters in the dressing room when Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad were thrown together in the same team. But while Umar Akmal responded positively, scoring his first T20 half-century in 20 innings, Ahmed Shehzad's night went rather the other way. Facing the first ball of Quetta's innings, he received a mean inswinger from Hasan Ali. It crashed into his pads at pace, and Shehzad didn't even bother calling for a review when the umpire gave him out. It might not have cost his team today, but Ahmed Shehzad will have some personal scores to settle as the PSL progresses.

Where the teams stand

All sides have played once now, with the three winners on two points, and the losers yet to get on the board. With the win today, Quetta join the ranks of the former, and Peshawar the latter.

Quetta Glad 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st0SR WatsonAhmed Shehzad
2nd34SR WatsonRR Rossouw
3rd37Umar AkmalRR Rossouw
4th62Sarfaraz AhmedUmar Akmal
5th28DR SmithUmar Akmal

Pakistan Super League

TeamMWLPTNRR
PZ1073140.828
QG1073140.376
IU1055100.127
KK105510-0.673
MS103760.173
LQ10376-0.837