Cricket match date: 11th 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:
The table toppers in Balkh Legends will take on Nangarhar Leopards, who just seem to be slipping following their loss against Kabul Zwanan in their third cricket game of the tournament. There are still some games to go for them to get back into the groove. The tournament format is such that it allows for such slips as only one out of five teams will get eliminated.
Balkh Legends, led by Mohammad Nabi, have been in a terrific form and won both their games of cricket so far. They have looked the best side of the tournament even without the presence of many superstars in the lineup. Their top order, having the presence of New Zealand’s Colin Munro, has looked dangerous and their middle order has looked reliable with the presence of Ryan ten Doeschate, Ravi Bopara and skipper Mohammad Nabi.
Their bowlers, without the presence of superstars, have clearly done their job in both games as well. In the first game, they restricted the strong batting lineup of Kabul Zwanan to a total of 176 while, in the second game, they defended their total of 165 against Kandahar Knights by restricting them to the total of 152.
On the other hand, Nangarhar Leopards have struggled despite the best efforts and performances of skipper Ben Cutting. While they began well against Kandahar Knights by chasing down their total of 139 runs by 6 wickets in hands, their bowling let them down in the following games by letting the oppositions score 184 and 191, respectively.
Their batting still looked good as their openers, AP Devcich and Najeeb Tarakai, were in glorious form against Kabuk Zwanan as they put up 109 runs in 11.2 overs. Their middle order, too, consisted of Afghanistan’s best batsman Rahmat Shah, explosive Andre Russell and skipper Ben Cutting.
It was their bowling that has let them down especially in their third cricket game when they had put up a very good score of 188 while batting first against Kabul. But the bowling completely fell away in front of the opening partnership of Luke Ronchi and Hazratullah Zazai. The latter was particularly destructive in his knock of 124 runs off just 55 deliveries and none of the bowlers, including Mujeeb Ur Rahman, looked like making an impact.
Cricket Match Information:
Balkh Legends and Nangarhar Leopards will take on each other in their fourth game of cricket in the Afghanistan Premier League. By the time this piece is being written, Balkh are on the first position with two wins out of two games and Nangarhar Leopards are on the fourth position on the points table with just one win out of the three games played so far.
Probable XI (Our Prediction):
Legends have been very good in both their games of cricket so far. Our prediction is they would go with the same lineup barring an injury.
Here is our prediction of Balkh Legends’s playing XI:
- Colin Munro
- Usman Ghani
- Ryan ten Doeschate
- Ravi Bopara
- Mohammad Nabi
- Gulbadin Naib
- Darwish Rasooli
- Ikram Ali Khil
- Qais Ahmed
- Ben Laughlin
- Aftab Alam
Probable XI (Our Prediction):
Nangarhar Leopards have now won one and lost two games, so they would look to do some changes. Hence, our prediction is to expect some changes in the eleven.
Here is our prediction of Nangarhar Leopard’s playing XI:
- Najeeb Tarakai
- J Charles
- AP Devcich
- Rahmat Shah
- Andre Russell
- Ben Cutting
- Mitch McClenaghan
- Mujeeb Ur Rahman
- Zahir Khan
Cricket Statistics and Prediction:
Andre Russell has conquered every T20 cricket league in the world. He would like to stamp his authority in APL as well. Hence, our prediction is to expect a typical destructive knock from him in this game.
Cricket Match Conditions and Pitch:
Pitches in Sharjah have produced high-scoring games of cricket in the night games. Our prediction is to expect a similar pattern to continue in this game as well.
While Balkh Legends mostly rely on all their players to do the job for them, Leopards are reliant on a few individuals to get them home. Due to the presence of more match winners in Leopards team, our prediction is to expect them to win this game of cricket. T20s can be won by individual brilliance, unlike other formats.
Top Batsman (Prediction):
Andre Russell (NAN) – 50+ runs
Top Bowler (Prediction):
Ben Laughlin (BL) – 2 or more wickets
Most Sixes (Prediction):
Andre Russell (NAN)