Out-of-favour former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman has continued with his whirlwind form in the ongoing Pakistan Super League. Akmal, who is the leading run-scorer- 1,430 runs in 49 matches- in the history of the franchise-based league, racked up his third hundred courtesy a whirlwind 55-ball 101– an innings which included 13 fours and 4 sixes– to help his side Peshawar Zalmi overhaul the target of 149, set by the defending champions Quetta Gladiators.
The former Pakistani keeper got Peshawar Zalmi off to a flier when he hit Mohammad Nawaz for a couple of sixes and as many fours in the first over. Akmal raced to 83 off just 38 deliveries but slowed down considerably in the end as he approached the landmark.
Quetta Gladiators spinner Fawad Ahmed spoke to the media in the press conference where he questioned Akmal’s approach as he neared his century. Ahmed said Kamran got a ‘little greedy’ in the end and felt that his approach could cost Peshawar Zalmi in the end, if it boils down to the net run-rate.
“Kamran 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.” Fawad Ahmed said as quoted by cricketpakistan.com.pk.
Kamran Akmal responds to Fawad Ahmed’s comments
Kamran Akmal, however, defended his approach in the press conference and revealed that it was the plan by the team-management which he was simply following.
“I wanted to utilize the powerplay because Quetta has a really good bowling side. Hasnain bowled well in last game and they also have Fawad who can take two to three quick wickets at any stage of the game,” Kamran said.
Akmal revealed that it was the instruction from batting mentor Hashim Amla that the top-order batting force of the team should play till the 15th over and stay at the crease till the end.
“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,” he added.