Kamran Akmal responds to Fawad Ahmed: Zalmi’s veteran wicket-keeper batsman justifies his slowing down in the previous match.
During the fourth match of the ongoing fifth season of the Pakistan Super League between Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators in Karachi, veteran Peshwar Zalmi wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal had scored his fifth T20 century to seal a 149-run chase in the penultimate over.
Opening the batting with Tom Banton (3), Akmal’s quickfire 20-ball half-century powered Zalmi to 69-1 in the powerplay. Just when Zalmi seemed to make a mockery of a below total, they consumed 75 balls to score the next 80 runs.
Quetta Gladitors spinner Fawad Ahmed, who went for 40 runs in 3.3 overs primarily due to Akmal’s onslaught, accused the 38-year old player of preaching “greed” to complete his century.
“Kamran [Akmal] played some outstanding shots and outclassed us, so credit to him. They should have chased the target in around 13 overs [considering the start].
“I think he got little greedy in the end and took singles [to complete his century]. At the end [of the group stage], things like net run-rate matter a lot,” Ahmed was quoted as saying by cricketpakistan.com.pk.
Kamran Akmal responds to Fawad Ahmed
Akmal, who got out in the 17th over, ended up scoring a match-winning 101 (55) with the help of 13 fours and four sixes. Vocal about the criticism from the opposition spinner, Akmal explained as to why he slowed down after the powerplay.
“I wanted to utilize the powerplay because Quetta has a really good bowling side. [Mohammad] Hasnain bowled well in last game [4-0-25-4 vs Islamabad United] and they also have Fawad [Ahmed] who can take two to three quick wickets at any stage of the game,” Akmal said.
Alhamdulliah first victory of the #PSLV2020 well done boys a very disciplined bowling display by all the bowlers @RealHa55an @WahabViki @daws128 @Rahat9090 Amir Khan Excellent team work @darensammy88 @PeshawarZalmi #YellowStorm
— Kamran Akmal (@KamiAkmal23) February 22, 2020
Former South Africa batsman Hashim Amla, who joined Peshwar Zalmi as their batting mentor ahead of the ongoing season of the PSL, seems to have inspired Akmal and other Zalmi batsmen.
“Since we had around 70 plus runs in the powerplay, my focus was to go easy as it was not a big total and I wanted to go till the end. Our batting mentor Hashim Amla had also instructed the top three batsmen to play till 15th over and go till the end as it would be beneficial for me and the team,” Akmal added.