Umar Akmal bludgeoned the highest score of the Pakistan Super League, his 40-ball 93 guiding Lahore Qalandars to their first win of the season, against Quetta Gladiators in Dubai. The 63-run defeat was Quetta's first of the tournament, after they had set the early pace with three consecutive wins.
Not many could have seen Akmal's blast coming when Lahore crawled to 62 for 1 in 10 overs. But with Cameron Delport providing the initial spark and Akmal the finishing punch, Lahore cruised to 194 for 3 at the end of 20 overs. The pair added 95 runs in only 42 balls, with Delport smoking a 55-ball 73, an innings that featured eight fours and three sixes. Although the carnage could have been cut short - Akmal survived a close lbw shout off the third ball he faced and Zulfiqar Babar was visibly distraught when it was given not out.
Babar eventually trapped Delport lbw when the batsman attempted an extravagant reverse flick, but any hope Quetta had of drying up the runs were quickly dashed by Akmal, who treated himself to six fours and eight sixes, including 18 runs off the penultimate over, bowled by Umar Gul. Akmal could not reach his maiden T20 ton, but he made sure Quetta needed to score at nearly 10 an over right from the off. They could not.
Lahore's spinners took wickets at regular intervals and only Mohammad Nawaz (42) and Sarfraz Ahmed (31) offered any resistance. Once Sarfraz was dismissed in the 13th over, Quetta lost their next six wickets for 13 runs and folded for 131. Zafar Gohar was the pick of the bowlers, collecting 4 for 14, while Ajantha Mendis chipped in with 3 for 17.