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Pakistan Super League 2023

Watch: Umar Akmal smashes 17 runs in first four balls to kick off extraordinary 300-plus strike rate PSL cameo

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: Umar Akmal played an extraordinary cameo for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), smashing 43 off 14 balls to cap off a spectacular recovery from 17-4 against Islamabad United.

Islamabad United struck four times early on, with the highlight a spectacular catch of Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmed by Mubasir Khan.

But from the ashes, Quetta Gladiators rebuilt, first through half-centuries from Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nawaz, and then through a stunning blitz from Akmal.


The 32-year-old is considered one of Pakistan’s great lost batting talents, having made a memorable century on Test debut as a teenager against New Zealand. His career has been marked by controversy around ill-discipline and fitness, and he last played for his country in 2019.

Akmal has only played sporadically in the PSL since then, with five appearances in PSL 2022 and two in PSL 2023 his only games since 2019. However, he showed today just why he was once so highly rated.

He raced out of the blocks, beginning with a six, pulled over the leg-side, and finding another maximum with a similar stroke two balls later. He capped off his first over with a sweet drive for four, and creamed another six over long-on in the next over, the 18th.

Akmal faced just one ball in the 19th over, but delivered again in the 20th, hitting two more sixes and another four to drive his side past 170.

Watch the early stages of the Umar Akmal assault below:

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