KARACHI: Peshawar Zalmi cruised to a six-wicket victory over the Quetta Gladiators on Saturday at Karachi’s National Stadium in the first match of the Saturday doubleheader.
They raced to 153 for the loss of 4 in the 19th over, helped in large part by a blazing knock from Kamran Akmal. The ‘Yellow Storm’ had invited Quetta Gladiators to bat first after winning the toss.
Akmal powered Zalmi to a blistering start, hitting a flurry of boundaries as he raced to 101 off just 54 balls. He, unfortunately, fell on the 55th delivery he faced, sweeping it into the waiting hands of Jason Roy at deep midwicket off a Fawad Ahmed delivery.
Other contributions came from Haider Ali, who scored 25 off 28. Shoaib Malik contributed 7 off 12.
Opener Tom Banton was the first to depart when Zalmi were on 44, having scored just 3 off 6 deliveries.
Earlier, Wahab Riaz was the pick of the bowlers for Peshawar Zalmi, taking two wickets for 21.
Riaz sent Shane Watson packing in the fourth over of the game. He was followed by Ahmed Shehzad, who returned to the pavilion after scoring just 12 runs courtesy of Mohammad Amir Khan.
Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed was the third to depart after being bowled out by his Zalmi counterpart Darren Sammy for 41 runs.
Riaz then bowled out last match’s hero Azam Khan for just nine runs, with Mohammad Nawaz falling victim to Rahat Ali for two runs.
For the Gladiators, Jason Roy and Sarfaraz were the standout batsmen having scored 73* and 41 respectively.
Zalmi had made one change to the squad, bringing in Mohammad Mohsin in place of Mohammad Amir Khan.
For Quetta Gladiators, Tymal Mills came in place of Ben Cutting and Ahsan Ali for Abdul Nasir.
“It looks like a good wicket for batting,” Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmed had said after they were invited to bat first. “We have a good combination and will try to put up a good score.
The Gladiators came into this match having kicked off their Pakistan Super League (PSL) 5 campaign with a win, defeating two-time winners Islamabad United by three wickets in the opening match of the tournament.
On the other hand, Zalmi came close to bagging two points against Karachi Kings last night but failed, thanks to quick fifties by Babar Azam and captain Imad Wasim.
Peshawar Zalmi: Kamran Akmal, Tom Banton, Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, LS Livingstone, Darren Sammy (captain), Liam Dawson, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Amir Khan
Quetta Gladiators: Jason Roy, Ahmed Shehzad, Shane Watson, Ahsan Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Azam Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Fawad Ahmed, Tymal Mills