DUBAI: Quetta Gladiators put up an efficient team performance to open their HBL Pakistan Super League campaign with a six-wicket win over former champions Peshawar Zalmi at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday night.
After restricting Peshawar to 155-4, Quetta reached the target on the back of an undefeated half-century by Umar Akmal on his debut for them after spending the previous three years with Lahore Qalandars.
The long-discarded Pakistan right-hander anchored his new franchise to 161-4 in 19.4 overs after the first-ball dismissal of Ahmed Shehzad. The winning stroke came in the shape of a huge six off Kieron Pollard.
His 50-ball man-of-the-match knock of 75 also featured two more sixes and seven fours.
Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain playing his first game after serving a four-match ICC ban for his racist remark during an ODI last month in South Africa, also played a good hand of 37 off 29 balls (three fours and one six) while sharing a fourth-wicket partnership of 62 with Umar.
Peshawar’s innings was a tale of two phases after Sarfraz chose to field. Upfront Kamran Akmal blazed away to 49 from 36 balls. The former Pakistan wicket-keeper/batsman struck five fours and three sixes before falling to spinner Mohammad Nawaz.
Sohaib Maqsood, who scored 26 off 29 balls with the aid of two sixes and one four, had added 57 for the second wicket with Kamran before he holed out to deep cover. And then it was left to ex-Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq to ensure the 2017 champions manage a fighting total.
The elder statesman of Pakistan cricket, who is 44 years and 263 days old, marked his Peshawar debut with a measured knock.
Misbah made 49 off 32 deliveries, the bulk of his runs coming from four boundaries and a brace of sixes.
K. Akmal c Rossouw b Nawaz49
A.D.S. Fletcher lbw b Irfan Jr1
S. Maqsood c Irfan Jr b Mudassar26
Misbah-ul-Haq not out49
K.A. Pollard c Umar b Nawaz3
L.A. Dawson not out21
EXTRAS (B-1, LB-4, W-1)6
TOTAL for four wkts, 20 overs)155
FALL OF WKTS: 1-13, 2-77, 3-90, 4-102.
DID NOT BAT: D.J.G. Sammy, Umaid Asif, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Sameen Gul.
BOWLING: Sohail Tanvir 4-0-36-0; Mohammad Nawaz 4-0-25-2; Mohammad Irfan Jr 4-0-27-1; Ghulam Mudassar 4-0-24-1; Fawad Ahmed 4-0-38-0 (1w).
Ahmed Shehzad lbw b Hasan0
S.R. Watson c Hasan b Umaid19
R.R. Rossouw c Sohaib b Wahab19
Umar Akmal not out75
S. Ahmed c Sammy b Wahab37
D.R. Smith not out11
TOTAL (for four wkts, 19.4 overs)161
FALL OF WKTS: 1-0, 2-34, 3-71, 4-133.
DID NOT BAT: Mohammad Nawaz, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irfan Jr, Ghulam Mudassar, Fawad Ahmed.
BOWLING: Hasan Ali 4-0-30-1; Sameen Gul 4-0-36-0; Umaid Asif 4-0-42-1; Wahab Riaz 4-0-18-2; Dawson 2-0-18-0; Pollard 1.4-0-17-0.
RESULT: Quetta Gladiators won by six wickets.
UMPIRES: R.K. Illingworth (England) and Shozab Raza (Pakistan).
TV UMPIRE: Rashid Riaz (Pakistan).
MATCH REFEREE: R.S. Mahanama (Sri Lanka).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Umar Akmal.
Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2019