APL 2018, Match 15, Nangarhar Leopards vs Paktia Panthers Review: Panthers hunt the Leopards down with ease

APL 2018, Match 15, Nangarhar Leopards vs Paktia Panthers Review: Panthers hunt the Leopards down with ease

The second innings of the game was all about one person, the Panthers' skipper Mohammad Shahzad.

Nangarhar Leopards vs Paktia Panthers
Nangarhar Leopards vs Paktia Panthers. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Once again, the Nangarhar Leopards failed to play to their full strength, eventually letting themselves down in a crucial encounter against the Paktia Panthers. The Panthers were clinical and ruthless, who made a mockery of a moderate run chase thanks to the exploits of their skipper Mohammad Shahzad.

The Leopards were asked to bat first and clearly, Shahzad’s men were in control from the outset. They got a wicket as early in the 3rd over, where Ziaw Rahman picked up Najeeb Tarakai and after hitting a few boundaries, the Caribbean dasher Johnson Charles departed as well.

Afridi came into the party and removed Anton Devcich and after him, wickets kept falling at regular intervals. Rahmat Shah chipped in with a crucial 32 and skipper Ben Cutting stroked a quickfire 21, which played an important role in Leopards getting a decent score on board.

They eventually were bundled out for 126 runs in their 20 overs. Ziaw Rahman chipped in with a brilliant spell of 3/27, whilst Isuru Udana and Shahid Afridi picked up two wickets each at a very economical rate.

Shahzad strokes the Leopards out of picture

The second innings of the game was all about one person, the Panthers’ skipper Mohammad Shahzad. He has been in stellar form in the tournament right from the very first game and the 30-year-old is continuing to do what he does the best, attack and score runs in the first few overs profusely.

He first added a 68-run partnership with Ihsanullah Janat, in which Janat could score only 26 runs. This partnership came to an end exactly at the end of the powerplay overs and it seemed like they might get exposed. But Shahzad ensured the power-hitting didn’t stop and things kept unravelling thick and fast.

In his next partnership with Cameron Delport, the South African scored only 6 runs whilst the Afghan added 31. Cameron Delport and Sikandar Raza gifted their wickets to Sandeep Lamichhane in the 10th over, which probably was their only moment of panic in the game.

But by then, the required rate had dipped below five and things were pretty simple to close off. Alongside Samiullah Shenwari, Shahzad remained unbeaten on 78 off 43 balls to steer his side to a very important win. The skipper eventually received the player of the match award for his heroics.

Brief Scores

Nangarhar Leopards: 126 all out in 20 overs (Ziaw Rahman 3/27, Shahid Afridi 2/27, Isuru Udana 2/14)

Paktia Panthers: 129/3 in 14.4 overs (Mohammad Shahzad 78*)

Player of the match: Mohammad Shahzad

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