ABU DHABI: Lahore Qalandars chased down 185 to beat Yorkshire to get a victorious start in Abu Dhabi T20 Cup, thanks to a blistering maiden century from captain Sohail Akhtar.
Opener Akhtar played a captain’s knock to give the Pakistan Super League side a notable six-wicket victory with two balls to spare over favourites Yorkshire side.
The 32-year-old hit 100 off 56 balls, smashing 11 fours and five sixes, having come to the crease at 12-1 in the second over. He fell in the 18th over when Qalandars were 20 runs short of the target but Phil Salt finished with 37 not out and won it with a six off Tim Bresnan, who failed to defend eight off the last over.
Earlier, Yorkshire’s scored 184-5 after Lahore won the toss and chose to field.
Harry Brook top-scored with 37 off 26 and shared a 57-run stand for the second wicket with Adam Lyth, who scored 32.
Gary Ballance (33) and Jonny Tattersall added 50 for the fourth wicket as Lahore struggled in the field.
Lahore’s chase mission didn’t start well as Imran Nazir was caught at deep off Bresnan in second over. However, despite the early breakthrough Vikings couldn’t stop Qalandars from keeping the scorecard moving.
Akhtar played with great freedom and excited the Pakistani contingent in the crowd. He added 70 for the second wicket with Bilal Irshad (30) to orchestrate Lahore Qalandars fight back from 12-1 in the second over.
He was handed a lifeline on 51 when the on-field umpire signalled him out following a boundary catch at long-off but the third umpire to overturn the decision, ruling Lyth had touched the rope.
But since then, Akhtar didn’t give Vikings any opportunity and likely took the maximum advantage of the turning point.
Lahore Qalandars will next play Hobart Hurricanes on Friday. The match is scheduled to kick off at 4PM PST.