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APL 2018, Match 9, Nangarhar Leopards vs Balkh Legends Review: Legends edge the Leopards out in a low-scoring thriller

12 Oct 2018 CricTracker

Balkh Legends. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ben Cutting and his troops would be sitting back and wondering how did the Balkh Legends manage to get over the line in this game. The script was well written and things were going well in favour of the Leopards, but an untimely collapse saw the Legends take all the points and remain joint-highest in the table with Kabul Zwanan.

It was one of those rare occasions on a cricket field where the likes of Chris Gayle and Colin Munro both couldn’t get hold of the ball properly. The pitch was slowing down and things got pretty difficult with every passing ball. Although Munro and Gayle did add 55 runs for the second wicket, it was pretty uncharacteristic and didn’t pay off pretty well.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman broke this partnership with a peach of a spell. He sent both these big hitters in the 9th over and pulled things completely back in their favour. A couple of other decent contributions from Ryan ten Doeschate and Mohammad Nabi saw them get to a decent total eventually, or they certainly were staring at a total less than 120.

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143 runs is what they could manage in their 20 overs for the loss of seven wickets. Although that didn’t suffice anyone as a winning total at that point, the slowness of the track always kept Nabi’s side in the game. Mujeeb registered figures of 2/19 in his four overs.

Mirwais Ashraf stuns the Leopards

Despite losing Najeeb Tarakai very early in the innings to Aftab Alam, Nangarhar did get a brilliant start. Kiwi veteran Anton Devcich went after the bowlers in the powerplay and runs kept coming thick and fast. Johnson Charles and Hashmatullah Shahidi gave him great support in the middle as well.

After the departure of Charles and Shahidi, Rahmat Shah too showed some positive intent and things seemed pretty comfortable for the Leopards. Completely against the run of play, Mirwais Ashraf comes into the attack and changes things with one of the spells of the season.

He first picked up the crucial wicket of Shafiqullah Shafiq, after which he scalped the big fish, Anton Devcich. That was a game-changing moment as after that, they failed to recover. In his final over, Ashraf picked up Ben Cutting and Mitchell McClenaghan to register figures of 4/19 in his 4 overs.

Aftab Alam came to bowl the final over the innings with just one wicket remaining and a wild slog from Mujeeb saw the ball fly in the sky and fall straight in the hands of the mid-on fielder. They registered their third win in the tournament by 25 runs and are second to Kabul only because of an inferior net run rate.

Brief Scores

Balkh Legends: 143/7 in 20 overs (Ryan ten Doeschate 35; Mujeeb Ur Rahman 2/19)

Nangarhar Leopards: 118 all out in 19.1 overs (Anton Devcich 48; Mirwais Ashraf 4/19)

Player of the match: Mirwais Ashraf

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The post APL 2018, Match 9, Nangarhar Leopards vs Balkh Legends Review: Legends edge the Leopards out in a low-scoring thriller appeared first on CricTracker.

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