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|RN ten Doeschate||4||5||0||0||80.00|
|Ikram Ali Khil||1||1||0||0||100.00|
Afghanistan Premier League is beginning to gather pace and the competition is getting tougher with every passing game. Unaffected by the competition so far in the tournament, Balkh Legends are set to face off against Paktia Panthers in an important game to be played on 10th October at Sharjah Cricket Ground. The Legends have been unbeaten in this competition thus far and occupy the top spot in the points table. The Panthers are right behind them in the points table with a win and a loss in their two matches. A win for them will even things at the top and open the points table. Irrespectively, it's expected to be an exciting game of cricket.
The superior performance of the Legends in the competition thus far can be validated by the fact that they're the only team which has won all their matches up till now and that too without any fuss. They'll be boosted further with the arrival of Chris Gayle who has already arrived in the country.
Their batting strength was already on display in their previous match where despite the failure of their middle-order, Munro and Bopara played match-defining knocks to take them to a winning score. Mohammad Nabi adds to the balance of the squad with his all-around skills and with Ravi Bopara available as well, they bat deep which can be vital in crunch situations.
Their bowling unit impressed once again as Gulbadin Naib and Mohammad Nabi strangled Knights' batsmen with excellent assistance from the rest of the bowlers. Gulbadin Naib received the man of the match award for his match-winning performance of 4 for 12 in his four overs. The bowlers will be looking to replicate their performance as they face powerful batting lineup of Paktia Panthers.
Chris Gayle, Usman Ghani, Colin Munro, RN ten Doeschate, RS Bopara, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Ikram Ali Khil, Aftab Alam, Mirwais Ashraf, Qais Ahmad.
For Panthers, their skipper has led from the front with excellent knocks in both the matches. He's carried his form since Afghanistan's match against India where Shahzad scored a scintillating century. Riding on his knocks, the Panthers have scored two towering total - 218 and 184 in the two matches they've played.
Their batting attack will be further bolstered by the addition of Luke Wright to the team who was brilliant towards the end of Vitality T20 Blast. Although their batting has done reasonably well over the course of the two matches, their bowling has appeared to struggle.
After failing to defend 218 in their first match, their bowlers fought back well to clinch a win in their second match. Their bowling lineup will be strengthened by the arrival of Chris Jordan who is expected to start in the playing eleven, considering his death bowling skills. With the likes of Shahid Afridi, Luke Wright, and Chris Jordan, the Panthers now appear to be a different side altogether and their fans will be hoping for an improved performance from their bowlers.
M Shahzad, Ihsanullah, C Delport, Sikandar Raza, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Samiullah Shenwari, SMSK Afridi, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Isuru Udana, Yamin Ahmadzai, Ziaur Rahman.
The team chasing has been successful more often than not in the ongoing tournament and we expect the captain winning the toss to field first yet again.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The surface in the competition so far has been an absolute graveyard for the bowlers. With short boundaries and hardly any assistance for quick bowlers, runs have come fast and easy. It isn't expected to be any different in the next game as well and the team batting first should be looking to score in excess of 200 to feel safe.
The legends are expected to buff their batting by bringing in Chris Gayle, the Panthers are expected to power-pack their bowling attack by including Chris Jordan. And if they both make it to the playing eleven, a fantastic contest would be on cards considering the damage both these guys could do on their day. Going by the performance of the two sides over the past week and their balance, the Legends are better placed to prevail in this upcoming fixture.
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