Kamran Akmal smashed a brilliant undefeated century to help Peshawar Zalmi qualify for the playoffs with a commanding seven-wicket victory over Lahore Qalandars in Sharjah on Friday.
Kamran’s 61-ball 107 not out not only entertained a packed Sharjah stadium but also helped Peshawar Zalmi to overhaul the modest 173-run target in 18 overs.
Lahore Qalandars were helped to 172-4 by an enterprising 42-ball 70 by Anton Devcich whose second half-century of the league had seven sixes and two boundaries but that was not enough to avoid Lahore’s seventh defeat this year.
Kamran followed his superb 75 against Karachi and knocked his fourth half-century this year as he anchored his team’s chase and steered Shaheen Afridi to square leg boundary to complete his second hundred in PSL history, first in this year’s event.
Islamabad United Sharjeel Khan, serving a five-year ban on spot-fixing, scored the first century in PSL in 2016.
Kamran, who was player of the tournament last year with 353 runs, along with opener Rikki Wessels smashed 19 runs in the first Devcich over to set Peshawar’s chase and continued in the ruthless style. He reached his fifty with a six off Bilal Asif off 38 balls.
Kamran added 41 with Dwayne Smith (14) and another 87 for the third wicket with Mohammad Hafeez who made 27.
In all Kamran knocked seven sixes and 11 boundaries and with 347 runs in ten matches became tournament’s top scorer. Saad Nasim hit two successive boundaries of Mitchel McClenaghan to bring the victory.
Zalmi finished the round robin league with ten points and better net run rate than Quetta and are placed second until Karachi’s game against Islamabad.
Lahore were off to an unimpressive start when on 19 their prolific opener Fakhar Zaman was bowled by Hasan Ali who finished with 2-24 in his four overs.
Devcich then took control and added 55 for the third wicket with Agha Salman who made 28 with two sixes. In between Brendon McCullum smashed three sixes in his 15-ball 25. Devcich completed his second fifty of the league and was finally dismissed in the 15th over, caught in the deep off Hasan.
Sohail Akhtar (16-ball 30 not out) hit two fours and as many sixes while Gulraiz Sadaf managed 21-ball 26 with six and two boundaries as the two added 53 for the unfinished fifth wicket stand to lift Lahore to 172-4.
In day’s other match Karachi Kings will meet table toppers Islamabad United.