Cricket match date: 11th October 2018
Cricket match time: 17:30 pm IST
Cricket match location: Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Cricket Match format: T20
Tournament: Afghanistan Premier League
Team A: Kabul Zwanan
Team B: Kandahar Knights
Team A Captain: Rashid Khan
Team B Captain: Asghar Afghan
Cricket Match Preview:
Kabul Zwanan had given the Afghanistan Premier League the best start possible. They were set the target of massive 219 runs by Mohammad Shahzad-led Paktia Panthers. Kabul, guided by wonderful fifty from Laurie Evans and some quick contributions from youngster Hazratullah Zazai, managed to chase down the total in 19.1 overs and by 3 wickets in hand.
Even after such a great start, Kabul found themselves on the 3rd spot on the points table because of the loss against the current table toppers Balkh Legends. On the second spot, there is Paktia Panthers, who despite the loss in the first game of cricket against Kabul, have not fallen away due to the healthy run-rate.
Kandahar Knights, led by Asghar Afghan, have not been able to get off the mark as yet. Despite the presence of Afghanistan’s International cricket captain and New Zealand’s greatest limited overs captain Brendon McCullum, Kandahar have struggled. The main reason behind it has been the inability of their batsmen to score runs.
Choosing to bat first in the first game against the Nangardhar Leopards, they could only muster 139 runs after 20 overs. After the dismissal of opening combination of Ireland’s Paul Stirling and New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum, none of the batsmen managed to get going. The most disappointing part of their batting was their dismissals against the part-time bowling of Ben Cutting. While they played the threatening Mujeeb Ur Rahman in a subdued way, they could not capitalize on the rest of the bowling.
When Kandahar’s turn came to bowl, it was clear that they did not have the good score on the board for this pitch and their bowling could never put the batsmen of Leopards under any pressure. Leopards cruised to their total and Kandahar were left to wonder about their tactics in the first game.
In the second game, the story went the same way for Kandahar when neither their bowlers nor their batsmen managed to perform to their potential. For Kabul, the second match came as a harsh reality that their bowling is not as strong as their batting. Despite the presence of Rashid Khan, their bowling has not looked threatening and every side is just looking to play out his 4 overs and score off the rest.
It is going to be interesting to see in this cricket game if Kabul can get their bowling sorted against the struggling batting line up of Kandahar, or if the big names of Kandahar batting line up can go big in a must-win game for them.
Cricket Match Information:
Kabul Zwanan and Kandahar Knights will take on each other as the first edition of Afghanistan Premier League continues in Sharjah. Both teams, by the time this piece was being written, had played two games each and, while Kabul has lost one and won one, Kandahar has lost both their games. In the points table, Kabul are placed at number 3 and Kandahar are placed at the last position.
Probable XI (Our Prediction):
Kabul were very good in the first game and good in some parts in the second game. Our prediction is that they will stick with the same eleven.
Here is our prediction of Kabul’s playing XI:
- Luke Ronchi
- Hazratullah Zazai
- CA Ingram
- Javed Ahmadi
- Laurie Evans
- Rashid Khan
- Zahir Shehzad
- Nizat Masood
- Wayne Parnell
- Fareed Ahmed
- Zahir Shehzad
Probable XI (Our Prediction):
Kandahar Knights are struggling and they need to win their next game. Our prediction is to expect some changes in their lineup.
Here is our prediction of Kandahar’s playing XI:
- Paul Stirling
- Brendon McCullum
- AP Devcich
- Asghar Afghan
- Karim Janat
- Najibullah Zadran
- Kevin O’Brien
- Amir Hamza
- Sayed Shirzad
- TS Mills
- Waqar Salamkheil
Cricket Statistics and Prediction:
Brendon McCullum is a New Zealand Legend and well-renowned hitter in all the leagues around the world. So far in the APL, he has not managed to fire the way Kandahar would have expected. Our prediction is to expect a big knock from him in this game.
Cricket Match Conditions and Pitch:
The night matches in Sharjah have produced big scoring games while the evening ones have produced low scoring cricket games. Our prediction for this game of cricket is to expect a similar pattern. The scores of around 160 might prove to be winning one.
Kabul and Kandahar both need this game to go their way. Kandahar would want to win more desperately as they would not want to stay too far behind the rest of the teams. In a tournament where only one team will get eliminated, Knights would not want to be that team. Hence, our prediction is to expect Kandahar Knights to open their winning account.
Top Batsman (Prediction):
Brendon McCullum (Kandahar) – 50+ runs
Top Bowler (Prediction):
Rashid Khan (Kabul) – 2 or more wickets
Most Sixes (Prediction):
Brendon McCullum (Kandahar)