APL 2018, Final, Balkh Legends vs Kabul Zwanan, Preview: Both the teams seek for the glory in an attempt to make history
On the last two instances when these team met each other, the Legends walked off with comfortable wins.
Published - Oct 21, 2018 10:53 am | Updated - Oct 21, 2018 10:53 am
It all boils down to the grand finale of the inaugural edition of the Afghanistan Premier League 2018. We’ve witnessed 22 games of riveting cricket action thus far in the season. Six teams have competed hard and fair against each other. But, it will be the best two teams, which are Balkh Legends and the Kabul Zwanan which will compete against each other in the final.
Both these teams are coming off some terrific performances in the semi-final. They have completely dominated the oppositions and didn’t give them any chance. Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s front-line spinners, were inspirational with their leadership and have performed well both with the bat and ball.
On the last two instances when they met each other, the Legends walked off with comfortable wins. Hence, they would feel they have the upper hand. Furthermore, they are considered to be the tournament favourites and have got a well-rounded side. However, the Kabul team isn’t too far behind. They have pulled off some great displays in the last few games even though they didn’t get over the line every time. Rashid army would be hoping to give the opposition a good run for their money.
The Balkh Legends have got their lineup sorted. They don’t require to shuffle much around and are expected to field that same XI that played the first semi-final. Darwish Rasooli’s successful opening stint will give the side to bat Colin Munro at number three adding more stability. Chris Gayle is at his destructive best at the moment and will be hard to restrict. Ryan ten Doeschate and Ravi Bopara will be the other two overseas players in the XI.
Predicted XI: Chris Gayle, Darwish Rasooli, Colin Munro, Ryan ten Doeschate, Ravi Bopara, Mohammad Nabi(c), Ikram Ali Khil(wk), Gulbadin Naib, Mirwais Ashraf, Qais Ahmad, Aftab Alam.
Similar is the case with Kabul Zwanan. They are likely to go ahead with the same XI and will want to continue with the winning combination. However, they would want their openers, Luke Ronchi and Hazratullah Zazai to get more runs and give the team a stable start in the final. Wayne Parnell, Colin Ingram and Laurie Evans will be the other overseas cricketers apart from Ronchi.
Predicted XI: Luke Ronchi(wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Wayne Parnell, Colin Ingram, Javed Ahmadi, Laurie Evans, Shahidullah Kamal, Rashid Khan(c), Muslim Musa, Fareed Ahmad, Fitraullah Khawari.
Focus will be on
Chris Gayle (Balkh Legends)
The Jamaican batsman has set the stage on fire in the last few games. He is already among the top ten leading run scorers with 259 runs in 6 games. He has got three half-centuries in the last three games where he piled on 207 runs in all. It will be tough to stop him once he gets going and the Legends will bank a lot of hopes on him.
Rashid Khan (Kabul Zwanan)
Rashid Khan has been that student who doesn’t do really well throughout the year but ends up being the topper in the final exams. He had a pathetic start in the season and was nowhere to be seen among the leading wicket-takers. But, he has caught up well as the tournament progressed and was terrific in the second semi-final where he picked four wickets. His services, both with the bat and the ball, will be critical for his side on the big stage. He is definitely the man for the big occasions and the fans will want him to come good.
TV – D Sport
Match Timings: 21:30 IST; 20:00 local