Cricket match date: 19th October 2018
Cricket match time: 9:30 pm IST
Cricket match location: Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Cricket Match format: T20
Tournament: Afghanistan Premier League
Team A: Balkh Legends
Team B: Nangarhar Leopards
Team A Captain: Mohammad Nabi
Team B Captain: Ben Cutting
Cricket Match Preview:
In the end, Nangarhar Leopards managed to edge out Kandahar Knights and reach the semi-final. It was not easy though as Leopards suffered from the loss of form mid-way through the tournament and it looked like Kandahar Knights might do the unthinkable and reach the semi-finals. However, Nangarhar maintained their cool against their semi-final opponents Balkh Legends in their last cricket group game and allowed themselves to reach the knockout stage.
Balkh Legends, led by inspirational Mohammad Nabi, have been firing in all cylinders throughout the Afghanistan Premier League. With the addition of Chris Gayle, they have become even more powerful and it has released pressure from the rest of the batting line up. The focus of the opponent’s bowling group will be now on restricting Gayle and that will help the likes of Colin Munro, Ryan ten Doeschate and Ravi Bopara to play their natural game.
Nangarhar Leopards must thank Balkh Legends for their current position. Not only did the Legends lose against Leopards but they also defeated Kandahar Knights in their last group game of cricket. If they had not defeated the Knights, it might have come down to run rate and Leopards might have struggled. Leopards would like to repeat a similar performance as their last game against Balkh Legends when they managed to defeat the Legends side without Chris Gayle.
Balkh Legends, however, would like to brush that result aside and focus on the semi-final as their full-strength side will be back in this game of cricket. They had rested Chris Gayle in that game and with his return, they would be very powerful. So far in the tournament, Balkh Legends have not only won the game but they have won them handsomely. They hold the record of the biggest score in the tournament when they scored 244 against Kabul Zwanan. Performances like these have made them one of the most fearsome teams in the tournament.
It is going to be a cracking game of cricket, with Leopards looking to upset a much-fancied Balkh Legends. We have seen it happen in cricket before though and, especially with just three and half hour of game, any side can fancy their chances as one good day for any player can lead their side to a victory.
Cricket Match Information:
Nangarhar Leopards will take on Balkh Legends in the first semi-final of this edition of Afghanistan Premier League. Balkh Legends finished on the top position on the points table after the group stage, whereas Leopards finished on the number 4 spot. It was a tough competition between Leopards and Asghar Afghan-led Kandahar Knights, who were eventually knocked out.
Probable XI (Our Prediction):
Legends have been terrific so far in the tournament. They are the firm favourites for this semi-final game of cricket and our prediction is to expect the same eleven as their last game.
Here is our prediction of Balkh Legends’ playing XI:
- Chris Gayle
- Colin Munro
- Ryan ten Doeschate
- Mirwais Ashraf
- Mohammad Nabi
- Gulbadin Naib
- Darwish Rasooli
- Ikram Ali Khil
- Qais Ahmed
- Ben Laughlin
Probable XI (Our Prediction):
Nangarhar Leopards managed to reach the semi-final. They have some fine attacking players in their line up and our prediction is to expect the same eleven who won them the cricket game against Balkh Legends in their last group game.
Here is our prediction of Nangarhar Leopard’s playing XI:
- AP Devcich
- J Charles
- ADS Fletcher
- Rahmat Shah
- Hashmatullah Shahidi
- Ben Cutting
- Fazal Niazai
- Mujeeb Ur Rahman
- Zahir Khan
Cricket Statistics and Prediction:
Colin Munro has been successful in every league he has played. He has been a crucial member of Trinidad and Tobago victories in the Caribbean Premier League. He would like to stamp his authority over another league and hence, our prediction is to expect a good performance from him in this semi-final game of cricket.
Cricket Match Conditions and Pitch:
Two good batting sides, one belter of a pitch and stage is set for high octane encounter. A score of 200 cannot be ruled out and our prediction is to expect both sides to score freely. Conditions are expected to be dry.
Balkh Legends will begin this game of cricket as favourites. Although anything can happen on a big day, it is their depth and form throughout the tournament that is helping us to predict a Balkh Legend win in this game.
Top Batsman (Prediction):
Colin Munro (Balkh) – 50+ runs
Top Bowler (Prediction):
Mujeeb ur Rahman (NAN) – 2 or more wickets
Most Sixes (Prediction):
Colin Munro (Balkh)
Balkh Legends – 1.64
Nangarhar Leopards – 2.20
*odds may change anytime