Kamran Akmal century powers Peshawar Zalmi to final

Kamran Akmal (left) was outstanding for Peshawar Zalmi
Kamran Akmal (left) was outstanding for Peshawar Zalmi
©Chris Whiteoak
 

Peshawar Zalmi 181-3 (Akmal 104) beat
Karachi Kings 157-7 (Pollard 47) by 24 runs
Third Qualifying Final, Pakistan Super League, Dubai

Following a blistering century from Kamran Akmal, Peshawar Zalmi stormed into the final of the Pakistan Super League after securing a 24-run victory against Karachi Kings in the third Qualifying Final in Dubai.

Karachi Kings won the toss and elected to field first. Akmal (104) and Dawid Malan (36) started the innings with two boundaries each in the first two overs and helped Peshawar Zalmi reach 47 for naught at the end of powerplay.

After bringing the 50-run opening stand, Akmal went severe on Usama Mir (0-26) with back-to-back sixes and with a maximum and two more boundaries in the next two overs, he brought a 33-ball fifty as Peshawar Zalmi reached 88 for naught at halfway mark.

Malan's 31-ball steady knock ended after Sohail Khan (1-32) had him caught at long on, ending the 97-run opening stand with Akmal. Akmal continued the onslaught with four more sixes and a boundary brought a fine century, reaching there in 60 deliveries.

Even though, Karachi Kings picked Akmal and Shahid Afridi (0) in the final over, useful contribution from Marlon Samuels (37 not out) helped Peshawar Zalmi post 181 for three in the 20 overs.

Karachi Kings lost their in-form batsman Babar Azam (1) early in the innings to Chris Jordan (3-26). With Chris Gayle (40) taking nine deliveries to get off the mark, the pressure eventually fell on the batsmen at other end as Kumar Sangakkara (15) and Shoaib Malik (0) got out in quick succession.

Mohammad Hafeez (1-16) further dented Karachi hopes when he sent Ravi Bopara (6) packing following which the men from Caribbean - Gayle and Kieron Pollard (47) tried to bring the innings on track with a 45-run stand that came off just 21 deliveries.

Wahab Riaz (3-24) broke the important partnership by castling Gayle. Pollard continued playing the shots successfully to bring down the target to 45 runs off final three overs but it was once again Riaz, who had the Caribbean all-rounder caught behind.

Karachi Kings could manage only 157 for seven in the 20 overs. The 24-run win also meant Peshawar Zalmi will lock horns with Quetta Gladiators in the final of the tournament which is scheduled to be played in Lahore.

© Cricket World 2017