Cricket match date: 17th October 2018
Cricket match time: 5:30 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 first edition of Afghanistan Premier League is underway and now reaching its business end. As of now, three cricket teams look to have settled their semi-final positions in Balkh Legends, Kabul Zwanan and Paktia Panthers. Kandahar Knights and Nangarhar Leopards are both in contention for the fourth position although Leopards have the advantage of one extra win over the Knights. But Knights have one extra cricket game to play and since they have just won their first game, they might have got some much-needed confidence.
That is why it is going to be an important cricket game for Leopards against the table toppers Balkh Legends. If Leopards can just win this game, it might put them out of the reach of Kandahar Knights even if they win both their remaining games due to superior run-rate. However, it is not going to be easy considering Balkh Legends now got the services of Chris Gayle.
Chris Gayle was back with a bang in Balkh’s game against Kabul, where he smashed 80 off just 48 deliveries in typical Gayle’s fashion, hitting 10 sixes and 2 fours. The innings propelled by some of the other batsmen helped Legends reach the biggest score of the league by scoring 244 runs. Their bowling was not that impressive though and Abdullah Mazar particularly was hit for 6 sixes in an over and 37 runs ultimately in just 6 balls!
Leopards though will hope for a similar bowling performance from the Legends so that their batsmen can score freely as well. They have been well led by Ben Cutting, who has led from the front both with the bat and the ball. But they have lost 3 games of cricket out the last 4 games and they would like to restrict this losing momentum now. Their batting especially struggled in the last game when, despite having Kandahar Knights at 27 for 5, they allowed Knights to first reach to 136 and then failed to chase the total by getting all out for 110 runs.
They would love to repeat the same bowling performance and to significantly improve their batting effort. They have got the big hitters in their line up and they should do well if the opportunity presents itself again. Balkh Legends, on the other hand, would like to keep their winning ways going and stay at the top on the points table.
Cricket Match Information:
Nangarhar Leopards will take on Balkh Legends in their final group game. It will be the second last group game for the Legends. As of now, Leopards have 2 wins out of their 6 games and Legends have won 4 games out of 5 played. By the time this piece is being written Legends were on the top of the points table while Leopards were on the fourth position.
Probable XI (Our Prediction):
Legends have been terrific so far in the tournament. Even Chris Gayle is back for them now and that should make them even more difficult to beat. Our prediction is to expect the same lineup unless they decide to try more players.
Here is our prediction of Balkh Legends’ playing XI:
- Chris Gayle
- EMDY Munaweera
- MN Waller
- Mirwais Ashraf
- Mohammad Nabi
- Gulbadin Naib
- Darwish Rasooli
- Ikram Ali Khil
- Qais Ahmed
- Ben Laughlin
- Abdullah Mazari
Probable XI (Our Prediction):
Nangarhar Leopards would like to finish their final group game with a win. To stay in the contention to reach the semi-final, they will have to win this game of cricket hence, our prediction is to expect them to play their best eleven that won them the games so far.
Here is our prediction of Nangarhar Leopard’s playing XI:
- AP Devcich
- J Charles
- Imran Janat
- Rahmat Shah
- Andre Russell
- Ben Cutting
- Mitch McClenaghan
- Mujeeb Ur Rahman
- Zahir Khan
Cricket Statistics and Prediction:
Johnson Charles has been very underrated as far as his big hitting credential goes. He has the potential to match any big hitting batsmen in the world. Hence, our prediction is to expect a scintillating knock from the big man.
Cricket Match Conditions and Pitch:
Pitches in Sharjah have now begun producing high scoring cricket games and the same is expected to continue now. Our prediction is to expect another 200 plus total in this game. Conditions are expected to be dry.
Since Balkh Legends are already on top and Leopards need this win hence, our prediction is to expect a high intensity performance from Leopards in this cricket game and a win for them.
Top Batsman (Prediction):
Johnson Charles (NAN) – 50+ runs
Top Bowler (Prediction):
Mujeeb ur Rahman (NAN) – 2 or more wickets
Most Sixes (Prediction):
Johnson Charles (NAN)
Balkh Legends – 1.46
Nangarhar Leopards – 2.55
*odds may change anytime