Sharjah: Pakistan’s hard-hitter Umar Akmal does not fancy to be compared to India’s star batsman Virat Kohli. He has a reason behind it. Whenever he has played match-winning knocks many have compared him to Kohli.

Speaking after his match-winning knock for Lahore Qalandars against Islamabad United in which he cracked a breezy 66, he said: “When people compare me with Kohli, it’s a matter of number. Since Kohli’s debut he is batting at number three and I have been batting at number six. Let me play at No. 3 slot and him on six then compare me with him.”

Interestingly, 28-year-old Kohli is two years older than Akmal and has scored 4,451 runs from 54 Test matches. Akmal has got to play only in 16 Test matches for 1003 runs. In One Day Internationals Akmal has 3,044 runs from 116 matches to Kohli’s 7,755 runs from 179 matches. Though Kohli had made his international debut only one year before Akmal, Kohli has played more matches.

“Compare Kohli with Babar Azam who is doing well on three, he is in great form so you can compare him with Babar and not me,” said Akmal.

Interestingly, Azam is Akmal’s cousin and is hailed as Pakistan’s rising cricketer.

Akmal after his match winning knock was praised by his skipper and legendary batsman Brendon McCullum. “Akmal is a huge player for us. He’s a good strong leader in the field as well,” said McCullum who sportingly hailed Islamabad’s fightback.

“It was a brilliant game to be part of, just like the other day when we scored 200. This time we came out the right side. It was tough to separate the two teams. Congratulations to Misbah and his guys as well. [Grant] Elliott is another key player, he showed us why he’s world class. We’ve to give credit to the opposition for taking it deep into the game. But we managed to achieve it today, not too worried about the margin of victory.”

Brief scores: Lahore Qalandars bt Islamabad United by one run. Islamabad United 145 for 8 in 20 overs (Dwayne Smith 20, Shadab 42, Aamer Yamin 3 for 17, Yasir Shah 2 for 27) vs Lahore Qalandars 146 for 9 in 20 overs (Umar Akmal 66, Grant Elliott 26n.o, Rumman Raees 3 for 26, Shadab Khan 2 for 28). Man of the Match: Umar Akmal.

Teams Mat Won Pts NRR

Quetta Gladiators 5 3 7 +0.248

Lahore Qalandars 6 3 6 -0.126

Islamabad United 6 3 6 -0.143

Peshawar Zalmi 6 2 5 +0.185

Karachi Kings 5 2 4 -0.116