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|Mujib Ur Rahman||4.0||0||26||1||6.50|
With Domestic T20 leagues gaining immense popularity in Cricketing fraternity, Afghanistan Premier League is all set to debut on Friday. Similar to the IPL, Saturday will be a double-header day where Kandahar Knights will lock horns with Nangarhar Leopards in one of the matches. With the rise of Afghanistan in the limited-overs format, this tournament is being seen as yet another benchmark in what has been a fairytale for them. This tournament is likely to unearth some of the other hidden talent Afghanistan and fans across the globe are certainly excited about this tournament.
The Knights have Afghanistan's skipper Asghar Afghan to lead them in the inaugural edition of this tournament. Alongside him will be Kiwi superstar Brendon McCullum, and Kevin O Brien to add to the overall experience of the side.
Kandahar Knights are particularly strong in their batting department with Paul Stirling and Brendon McCullum at the top of the order. They also have Soumya Sarkar who can be a handful on his day. They have a strong and experienced middle order with the likes of Najibullah Zadran, Asghar Afghan, and Karim Sadiq.
Although their batting appears to be well settled on paper, their bowling doesn't look so settled. Although they have speedsters in Amir Hamza, Tymal Mills, and Taskin Ahmed, the lack of a quality spinner could really hurt them especially on Sharjah's surface which is likely to assist spinners.
Brendon McCullum, PR Stirling, Asghar Stanikzai, N Zadran, Karim Sadiq, Kevin O'Brien, Karim Janat, Amir Hamza, TS Mills, Waqar Salamkheil, Sayed Shirzad.
With Venkatesh Prasad being the head coach of the team, they'd certainly have a lot to learn. Andre Russell's unavailability for the first match is definitely a big setback for them and Ben Cutting will don the captain's hat in his absence.
While the Knights are relying on their batting to take them across, Leopards have a fantastic bowling lineup which can stifle any opponent on their day. They have the services of experienced spinners in Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Zahir Khan, and Sandeep Lamichhane, all of whom have proved their mettle in domestic T20 competitions across the globe.
Their batting mainly rests upon the shoulder of Afghan locals in Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi who both had a terrific Asia Cup 2018. Anton Devich and Andre Fletcher will add to the variety and the flair they need at the top, making them an extremely well-balanced side.
J Charles, Anton Devcich, N Tarakai, R Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Shafiqullah, Ben Cutting, MJ Mcclenaghan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Zahir Khan.
Chasing has been a trend to follow in T20 Cricket of late and we expect the captain winning the toss to field first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
It was an absolute belter in the opening encounter which served as a great advertisement for APL. Although it's not going to change much, the hot weather of Sharjah might slow the surface down just a wee bit. We expect a similar surface like the one in the first game with a little bit of extra assistance for spinners though. Although 218 were chased down in the first game, the chances of something similar happening are remote and anything over 200 is going to be super tough to chase down.
The Afghanistan Premier League started off in a blazing fashion with the opening game going down to the wire. The upcoming game between the Knights and Leopards could very well turn out to be a closely fought contest despite both teams having different strength and weaknesses. The Leopards are heavily reliant on their spinners to put them in the driving seat. Knights, on the other hand, have the explosive batsmen coming in right after the other. It's going to be an interesting clash, but we think that Nangarhar Leopards will defeat Kandahar Knights due to the experience they have in their bowling department.