Dubai: Quetta Gladiators Umar Akmal who won the man of the match against Peshawar Zalmi wants to play many more match winning knocks. He cracked an elegant unbeaten 75 runs off 50 balls with seven boundaries and three sixes to ensure his team a six-wicket win with two balls to spare.
“I am looking forward to play more such knocks,” said Akmal, who has not be picked for the Pakistan team since January 2017.
Hailed as one of Pakistan’s most skilful batsmen and a destroyer of any bowling, Akmal has not been living up to the expectations, often throwing away his wicket.
When asked about his unfulfilled promise to the fans, Akmal said: “I now try to stay at the wicket and hopefully runs will come. I am working hard on my game.”
Talking about his knock that blew away Peshawar’s hopes on Friday night, Akmal said: “Thanks to my support and fitness staff who have been working hard on me. My skipper Sarfraz (Ahmad) has helped me immensely supporting me and asking me to play my natural game. I want to score as many runs as possible in the matches and make a comeback into the national team.”
One of the reasons attributed to dropping Akmal from the national team by the selectors was his lack of fitness.
Sarfraz who hailed Akmal’s knock, said: “Umar is a talented player and he can always do well for his team. If he continues to play like this, I’m sure he will soon make a comeback.”
The first to hug Akmal and pat him on his back was his brother Kamran Akmal, who played for opponents Peshawar. Kamran too had top scored for Peshawar with 49 runs.
Pakistan off spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, soon after Akmal’s knock, said that the aggressive batsman should be included in the Pakistan team for the oncoming ICC World Cup squad.