Australian batsman Ben Dunk welcomed a match-winning performance for the Lahore Qalandars against the Quetta Gladiators in this week's Pakistan Super League fixture at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Lahore finished at the bottom of the log in the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 PSL. Tuesday's victory over defending champions Quetta was their first of the 2020 PSL.
The Qalandars amassed a final total of 209 for five on the back of Dunk's 93. His stay spanned a mere 43 deliveries – and featured three fours and 10 sixes. The hosts then limited Quetta to an insufficient 172 all out, as seamer Salman Irshad took four key wickets. The Qalandars are priced at 9.00 by bet365 to win the 2020 PSL.
Dunk ‘just happy to be in Pakistan'
“I'm just happy to be in Pakistan and playing in a great environment. It's lovely to be in Pakistan, playing in front of a crowd like the one tonight. The supporters still came out even though we didn't start the PSL in the way we would've liked, they showed patience and hopefully we can keep on giving them something to cheer about,” said Dunk, after Tuesday's victory over Quetta.
The 32-year-old Dunk was capped five times at T20I level for Australia between 2014 and 2017. He recently played for the Melbourne Stars in Australia's Big Bash League. He also represented the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants in South Africa's Mzansi Super League late last year.
Dunk is expected to retain the wicketkeeper-batsman berth ahead of South African Dane Vilas for Wednesday's fixture against Islamabad United.
Quetta captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, meanwhile, has lamented the absence of batsman Umar Akmal for the entirety of the 2020 PSL. Akmal has been banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board for undisclosed reasons.
“We are missing Umar, but the inclusion of Azam Khan has helped us. We have a pretty settled side but I still feel we have a little inexperienced though a talented bowling attack as compared to last year. We have a number of options in that department, so it is also a good headache to have,” Ahmed was quoted as saying in Cricket Pakistan.
“We now need to win as many matches at the back-end of the league matches as possible to secure a place in the top three or four.”