Kamran Akmal smashed the first century of the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League as Peshawar Zalmi romped to a six-wicket win over familiar foes Quetta Gladiators.
The highly anticipated contest ended up being a one-sided affair, with Kamran setting up a belligerent batting masterclass to storm to the modest 149-run target.
There have only been six centuries scored so far in the competition’s history and three of them now belong to Kamran, whose scorching strokeplay dominated the Gladiators’ flaccid effort in the field.
The veteran 38-year-old signaled his intentions early in the piece by thumping a marvellous six off Mohammad Nawaz on the second ball of the innings.
He then raced to 34 off just nine deliveries, sweetly timing his strokes to perfection with supreme class and poise.
The Gladiators’ bowling attack received a merciless pounding from Kamran as he continued to feast on their erratic lines and lengths.
He reached the three-figure landmark in the 17th over before perishing on the very next ball for a flawless 55-ball 101 embellished with 13 fours and four towering maximums.
Kamran’s special effort was complemented by a calm hand from young Haider Ali. Having impressed in the ICC Under-19 World Cup last month, Haider delivered a couple of tremendous blows indicating the steep potential he possesses.
Quetta’s innings was plagued with a lack of impetus in the death overs as they struggled to find boundaries at regular intervals.
Despite Jason Roy’s unbeaten contribution of 73 from 57 balls, his inability to launch into a six-hitting frenzy did not help the Gladiators’ progress.
Skillful bowling from the pace duo of Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali dried up the runs leaving Quetta flustered at a mediocre total.