APL 2018: Match 8, Kabul Zwanan vs Kandahar Knights Review: Kabul hold their nerves in an absolute humdinger
Once again, all that remains for the Kandahar Knights is sorrow and feeding on their dismal form were the Kabul Zwanan, who registered their 3rd win in the tournament. With this win, the Rashid Khan-led side took the top spot in the APL table and are clearly are one of the favorites to win the title.
Centurion from the previous game Hazratullah Zazai couldn’t get going the way he did the other day. The case was something similar to Luke Ronchi, who stuttered a lot in the powerplay overs. After Zazai was dismissed in the 4th over, Colin Ingram followed the suit and the Zwanan seemed in a bit of trouble.
Ronchi and Javed Ahmadi stitched a crucial partnership at this juncture, which shifted the momentum to the batting side. Ronchi’s mediocre stay in the middle came to an end in the 10th over and Ahmadi’s good little cameo was cut short a couple of overs later.
They were in a decent position at this point in time and all they needed was a good finish, which eventually came from a trusted source in Laurie Evans, who scored a brilliant fifty alongside Shahidullah Kamal, who too chipped in with a wonderful cameo.
They managed to register 173 runs in the end for the loss of six wickets, with Laurie Evans remaining unbeaten on 57 off 29 balls. Sayed Shirzad returned with three wickets, one of the few positives for the Knights in the innings.
Afghan, Wessels, and Jamal almost got the job done
After losing a few early wickets, Asghar Afghan took the mantle on himself to steer his side to a decent position, which he did in some style. The experienced campaigner picked his moments and although wickets kept falling at the other end, he stood tall for the side.
Shahidullah Kamal was the main reason behind Afghan getting no support as he picked up a few crucial wickets in his first spell and gave his side a splendid start. Although the skipper got to a fifty, he lost his composure at a very important juncture and it seemed like the end of the road for the Knights.
After losing another experienced campaigner Najibullah Zadran, they were staring at a humiliating defeat at 94/6. But Riki Wessels and Nasil Jamal stitched an outstanding partnership for the 7th wicket and managed to scamper 22 runs off the 18th over bowled by Rashid Khan. This brought the equation down to 20 needed in 2 overs.
But Wayne Parnell placed the speed breakers as he gave away just five runs in the 19th over bringing all his experience into play. Eventually, Wessels fought hard till the end but Kandahar fell short just by 2 runs. This defeat keeps them at the bottom of the table having registered no points in any of their games.
Kabul Zwanan: 173/6 in 20 overs (Laurie Evans 57*, Javed Ahmadi 39; Sayed Shirzad 3/36)
Kandahar Knights: 171/7 in 20 overs (Asghar Afghan 52, Riki Wessels 46*; Shahidullah Kamal 2/18)
Player of the match: Shahidullah Kamal