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|RN ten Doeschate||35||27||3||1||129.63|
|Ikram Ali Khil||5||8||0||0||62.50|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||4.0||0||19||2||4.75|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||2||4||0||0||50.00|
The ongoing edition of Afghanistan Premier League continued to surprise one and all as Paktia Panthers defeated Balkh Legends by a comprehensive margin. Balkh Legends, who were being perceived as the title favorites before the beginning of the competition, were humbled by the Panthers in what happened to be a rather one-sided affair. The Legends will now take on Nangarhar Leopards on 11th October in a quest to regain the top of the table position. The Leopards, on the other hand, faced their second consecutive defeat in their match from Kabul Zwawan where their bowlers were smashed to all parts to the ground. Coming after a loss in their respective games, both the sides will be desperate for a win here and we expect them to come all guns blazing in this upcoming fixtures.
The Legends will be on the ground for the second time in 24 hours and Mohammad Nabi and Co. will be looking to forget their earlier thrashing they got from Paktia Panthers. Bowling first against Paktia Panthers, their bowlers failed to keep a check on the scoring rate as Mohammad Shahzad and Cameron Delport smashed everyone to all parts of the ground.
They conceded 204 runs with none of their bowlers bowling economically. Gulbadin Naib happened to be their most successful bowler with two wickets, but he, too, conceded at an economy rate of more than 11 an over. Despite being smashed for over 200 in the 20 overs, the Legends' batting was more than capable of chasing the total and it was validated further after the kind of start they had.
They, however, lost important wickets after the terrific start as they lost momentum in a bid to revive their innings. Chris Gayle looked threatening, but he was dismissed by Isuru Udana for a personal score of 20. Colin Munro and Ravi Bopara tried to revive their innings, but they both were dismissed at critical junctures. Just when Mohammad Nabi appeared to be taking the game away from the Panthers, he was caught in the deep for a fascinating 40 coming in just 15 deliveries. His wicket was the final nail in the coffin as they fell short of the target by 37 runs.
Chris Gayle, Usman Ghani, Colin Munro, RN ten Doeschate, RS Bopara, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Ikram Ali Khil, Mirwais Ashraf, Qais Ahmad, Aftab Alam.
After getting off to a fantastic start in the tournament with a win in their opening encounter, the Leopards have tapered off from the excellent form they were in. Their bowlers were smashed all around the park including the likes of Mitchell McClenaghan and Mubeeb ur Rahman.
In their last match, they left out Johnson Charles so as to include Andre Russell in the playing eleven. The exclusion of Johnson Charles didn't have any impact whatsoever on their batting, but the failure of Russell didn't really help their cause in the slog overs. He could, however, be a match-winner on his day and is likely to retain his place.
Ben Cutting has been fluent with the bat and an important player to come in at the death overs. Anton Devcich's return to the form will be a big confidence booster for them as he played a brilliant 90-odd runs innings after being promoted to bat at number three. Prior to their last match, the Leopards were one of the better-balanced team on paper. The loss, although, hasn't really changed that, but would surely have an impact on the morale of the team. It will be interesting to see how they bounce back after the crushing defeat they faced from Kabul Zwawan.
N Tarakai, J Charles, Anton Devcich, R Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Shafiqullah, Ben Cutting, MJ Mcclenaghan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Zahir Khan.
Only twice in the tournament has the team batting first managed to win the match. The stats heavily favor the team batting second at Sharjah and therefore the captain winning the toss is expected to put the opposition in first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The surface at Sharjah has been an absolute heaven to bat on for the batsmen. Along with an excellent surface, the short boundaries and quick outfield have ensured that the batsmen get value for their shots. The surface is unlikely to change at Sharjah and another high-scoring contest is certainly on the cards
A loss for Leopards here will make it hard for them to claw back into the tournament whereas a loss for the Legends will bring them on par with the Leopards as far as points table is concerned. This game could also be seen as a make or break fixture for both the teams. With the presence of experienced all-rounders in Mohammad Nabi and Ravi Bopara and universe boss at the top of the table, Balkh Legends have a slight edge to emerge on top in this important fixture.
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