KARACHI: Kamran Akmal smashed a robust half-century while the pace quartet led by Hasan Ali shared nine wickets as Peshawar Zalmi thumped Karachi Kings by 61 runs at the National Stadium, Karachi on Monday, ending the league phase with number one position in the Pakistan Super League 2019 edition.
Kamran scored a fiery 48-ball 86 studded with five well timed sixes and ten boundaries and took a leading part in the team’s record opening stand in HBL PSL history of 137 with Imam-ul-Haq (40-ball 59) to steer the team to 203-7 in 20 overs. Karachi Kings, who had already qualified for the play-offs but had an outside chance of finishing in the top two, were lifted by a 37-ball 71 (seven fours and four sixes) by Colin Ingram before they folded for 142 in 16.2 overs. Hasan led the Zalmi pace attack with 3-15 while Wahab (2-19), Tymal Mills (2-25) and Sameen Gul (2-49) shared the spoils.
The win lifted Peshawar to 14 points from their ten matches and with a superior net run-rate they finished top of the six-team table, followed by Quetta Gladiators with 14 in ten games, Zalmi also topped the round stage in both 2016 and 2017 HBL PSL editions. Karachi Kings finished with ten points and at fourth spot while Islamabad United are third with ten points in ten matches.
Earlier, Multan Sultans beat Lahore Qalanadars by seven wickets to finish fifth while Lahore were consigned to sixth and last. Peshawar hit Karachi hard through their fast bowlers right from the outset. Karachi lost Colin Munro (nought), Babar Azam (13) and Liam Livingstone (six) by the fourth over as the pace attack once again proved potent. Munro was trapped leg-before by Hasan for his second duck of the HBL PSL season and has a measly 63 runs in seven innings. Babar fell to a miscued drive off Sameen Gul while Livingstone fell to Tymal Mills.
Ingram added 43 for the fourth-wicket with Ben Dunk (six) but the target was too big for him to handle without any support. Ingram holed out off Mills in the 14th over. Only Imad Wasim offered any resistance with a 30-run contribution. With three wickets added to his tournament tally, Hasan leads the bowling chart of HBL PSL with 21 in ten matches. Man-of-the-match Kamran Akmal said his aim was to be positive.
“It was a big total and that was because we were positive,” said Kamran. “We knew that we want to bat long and then credit to the bowlers who defended well because it wasn’t easy defending on this pitch.” Peshawar skipper Darren Sammy said Kamran is his match winner. “The way Kamran batted it was great,” said Sammy. “He is our match winner and once he took us to 200 it was up to the bowlers and Hasan and Wahab are bowling so well together that it paved our win.” Karachi captain Imad praised Kamran. “The way Kamran batted, he took away the match,” said Imad. “He timed the ball so sweetly and it became tough for us to stop him.” Peshawar, put into bat by Karachi Kings, maintained a ten run average throughout their innings as Kamran cut loose right from the start. He smashed three boundaries in the second over by Usman Shinwari to hint what was coming from him.
Imam matched his illustrious partner with three hits to the fence off Sohail Khan in the third over while Kamran knocked a four and six each off Imad Wasim and Umer Khan before hitting two sixes and as many fours off Umar as Peshawar raced to 125 by 12 overs. It was part timer Munro who finally gave Karachi a breakthrough with the wicket of Kamran, caught in the deep. Pollard hit two sixes in the same over before failing to Munro. Imam, who hit seven boundaries and a six, became one of Mohammad Amir’s three wickets who finished with figures of 3-24 amidst a run feast by Peshawar.