APL 2018: Match 3, Balkh Legends vs Kabul Zwanan, Preview: All eyes on Sharjah as The Universe boss takes on Rashid Khan

APL 2018: Match 3, Balkh Legends vs Kabul Zwanan, Preview: All eyes on Sharjah as The Universe boss takes on Rashid Khan

Two of the biggest stalwarts in Afghan cricket will be up against each other on Saturday and that will be an entertaining prospect. 

Laurie Evans Kabul
Laurie Evans. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After the player draft was completed, a lot of experts rated Balkh Legends to do pretty well when the tournament commences as they got almost all boxes ticked. They certainly have a side that can tear apart any lineup in the tournament given their star players rise up to the occasion.

But up against them will be the unmatched class and exuberance of Rashid Khan, which has been the talk of the cricketing town lately. Two of the biggest stalwarts in Afghan cricket will be up against each other on Saturday and that will be an entertaining prospect.

Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi have been exceptional for their country and now it’s time to serve their duty in a different way. Whilst Nabi already has a lot of experience in leading sides, Rashid is still learning the art and since he’s a probable candidate to lead Afghanistan one day, he will relish the opportunity.

Playing combinations

Balkh Legends

Colin Munro and Chris Gayle at the top are epitomes of destruction. Apart from them, they have the experience of Ravi Bopara, Mohammad Nabi, and Gulbadin Naib in the middle order. Aftab Alam and Mohammad Nabi will be the most important bowlers in the side alongside the incredible skill of Malcolm Waller and Qais Ahmed. Ravi Bopara and Colin Munro can roll their arm over as well if needed.

Predicted XI: Colin Munro, Chris Gayle, Usman Ghani, Ravi Bopara, Mohammad Nabi(C), Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Gulbadin Naib, Aftab Alam, Qais Ahmad, Mirwais Ashraf, Malcolm Waller

Kabul Zwanan

Hazratullah and Luke Ronchi might be opening the innings for Kabul and in the middle order, they have some experienced names like Javed Ahmadi and Laurie Evans. Rashid Khan will come in at number 6 or 7 to finish off the innings. The skipper will hold the key with the ball as well with support coming from Wayne Parnell, Ali Khan, and Zahir Shehzad.

Predicted XI: Hazratullah Zazai, Luke Ronchi (wk), Javed Ahmadi, Laurie Evans, Shahidullah Kamal, Rashid Khan (C), Wayne Parnell, Muslim Musa, Ali Khan, Fareed Ahmad, Zahir Shehzad

Focus will be on

Colin Munro (Balkh Legends)

Many would call him one of the best T20 batsmen of this generation, such has been the excellence of Colin Munro in this format. The Kiwi has already registered a lot of runs in this format and his explosive nature will only terrorize the bowlers. A fact that he will open with the King of T20s Chris Gayle makes this game a lot more interesting.

Luke Ronchi (Kabul Zwanan)

Another Kiwi who will be hogging a lot of limelight is Luke Ronchi, who has been in terrific form in T20s this year. He had an exceptional outing in the PSL and CPL and will be eager to bring that form here as well. The 37-year-old brings tons of experience to the table as well and is a key figure for the side behind the stumps.

Stat Attack

2 – Mohammad Nabi needs two scalps to complete 200 T20 wickets.

19.71 – Chris Gayle’s average in his last 7 T20 outings with a highest score of 41.

Broadcast Details

TV – D Sport

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