Umar Akmal silenced his critics with a 40-ball 93 to help Lahore Qalandars register their first win and end Quetta Gladiators’ unbeaten run in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Umar, who had been under fire for his recent off-field antics, strengthened his case for the World T20 in a blistering knock which included eight sixes and six boundaries and propelled Lahore to 194/3, the PSL’s highest total.
The Pakistan middle-order batsman was ably supported by South Africa’s Cameron Delport who hit 73 off 55 balls to dent the bowling figures of Quetta. Umar Gul came in for some real treatment, conceding 50 from four overs while emerging star Mohammad Nawaz went for 31 from his three overs.
In the chase, Quetta suffered the worst possible starts, losing Ahmed Shehzad, Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen inside the powerplay.
Nawaz (42) and captain Sarfraz Ahmed (31) combined in a solid stand to give the response some impetus, Quetta were dismissed for 131 in a stunning collapse, losing the last seven wickets for just 21 runs.
Left-arm off spinner, Zafar Gohar, also a potential candidate for the World T20 squad, picked up 4/14 in 3.2 overs to give Azhar Ali’s Qalandars a much-needed win.