APL 2018, 2nd Semi-final, Paktia Panthers vs Kabul Zwanan, Preview: A competitive game awaits as the two on-par teams meet yet again

APL 2018, 2nd Semi-final, Paktia Panthers vs Kabul Zwanan, Preview: A competitive game awaits as the two on-par teams meet yet again

The second semi-final, for sure, is going to be an evenly fought out encounter and neither of the sides can be termed favourites.

Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It will be a repeat of the first and last league matches of the APL 2018 in the 2nd semi-final of the tournament. The Paktia Panthers will be playing the Kabul Zwanan in this knockout game. Although the Panthers finished higher on the points table, there isn’t much that differentiates both these sides.

They have got some in-form players and good bowling lineups. However, it will be the Paktia Panthers who will have the momentum on their side having won the previous encounter. Mohammad Shahzad, even though not 100 per cent fit, has led the team from the front in the tournament and there will be a lot of hopes banked upon him.

But there isn’t much of a requirement for the Zwanans to press the panic button as yet. They rested most of their players in the last game and gave chances to the ones warming the bench. Further, they gave some tough competition to the Panthers although they didn’t play with their best XI. The second semi-final, for sure, is going to be an evenly fought out encounter and neither of the sides can be termed favourites.

Team Combinations

Paktia Panthers

The Paktia Panthers have an injury concern ahead of the big encounter. Ihsanullah Janat was hit on his wrist in the last encounter and walked off immediately. There isn’t much of a clarity if he will be playing the match. Fazal Zazai could be opening the innings if he isn’t fit to play. Cameron Delport should play this game as Seekkuge Prasanna might make way for him in the XI.

Predicted XI: Mohammad Shahzad(c)(wk), Ihsanullah Janat/Fazal Zazai, Cameron Delport, Samiullah Shenwari, Shahid Afridi, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Isuru Udana, Ziaw Rahman, Yousuf Zazai

Kabul Zwanan

Kabul Zwanan will have quite a few changes that are to be made from the last encounter. Firstly, skipper Rashid Khan, who will be coming back, could have a tough time at the toss remembering all the names. Ali Khan, after a dismal outing, will have to sit out to accommodate Laurie Evans. Shawkat Zaman, having fared well in the might continue in the XI.

Predicted XI: Luke Ronchi(wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Wayne Parnell, Colin Ingram, Laurie Evans, Shawkat Zaman, Shahidullah Kamal, Rashid Khan(c), Muslim Musa, Fareed Ahmad, Zahir Shehzad.

Focus will be on

Mohammad Shahzad (Paktia Panthers)

Skipper Mohammad Shahzad is one of the biggest strengths for the Paktia Panthers this season. The opening batsman counterattacks the bowlers right from the word go and tends to be absolutely devastating. He has scored 343 runs in 8 innings thus far at an average of 49. The wicket-keeper batsman will be the key in the big game.

Colin Ingram (Kabul Zwanan)

Colin Ingram has struck the right chord just at the ideal time. He scored 83 off 51 in the last encounter even though he has struggled for a majority of the tournament. Ingram will hold the key in the middle order for the Kabul Zwanan, which at times tends to be fragile while chasing huge targets or while trying to set up big totals.

Broadcast Details

TV – D Sport

Match Timings: 21:30 IST; 20:00 local

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