APL 2018: Match 5, Kandahar Knights vs Balkh Legends Review: The Legends register two wins on the trot

Gulbadin Naib was the star of the hour for the Legends as he returned with impressive figures of 4/12 in his 4 overs.

Colin Munro
Colin Munro. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It is a tale of two emotions in the Afghanistan Premier League (APL) as the Balkh Legends remain on top of the table whilst the Kandahar Knights are still looking for their first points. Skipper Asghar Afghan did seem like getting his side over the line, but eventually, they fell short by quite a good margin.

Colin Munro gave the Legends a power-packed start, something which is always expected from the high-class Kiwi opener. His partner Usman Ghani didn’t particularly have a jovial time in the middle and his stay came to end just three balls before the power play ended.


Munro was ramping through at the other end, but his pyrotechnics came to an end in the 9th over, with the Kiwi falling four runs short of a fifty. The scoring rate dipped sharply as Ryan ten Doeschate too failed to dish out something special.

Ravi Bopara and Mohammad Nabi stuck around for a few overs and tried to consolidate the innings. They did the initial job perfectly but failed to up the ante after getting the right kind of start. They certainly didn’t get the right kind of finish but ended up notching a decent enough total.

The legends registered 165 runs for the loss of five wickets and clearly were 15-20 runs short of what they would’ve aspired. Nevertheless, it was a par total and they didn’t really lose control over the game.

Naib chips in with a gem of a spell

Despite striking a couple of boundaries in the early part of his innings, Brendon McCullum’s innings on the day was quite uncharacteristic. His opening partner Paul Stirling did get going, but couldn’t create much of an impact. A drought hit the Knights when Stirling and Sadiq got dismissed in a span of two balls and it was Gulbadin Naib doing the job with the white cherry.

After a couple of overs, Naib once again struck gold for his side as he sent the very dangerous McCullum back to the hunt. Asghar Afghan had to fight a lone battle at this juncture and apart from a couple not so effective second-fiddles from Karim Janat and Najibullah Zadran, there was no support for the captain.

He kept playing his shots nevertheless and the scoreboard was on the move. There was a time when things got a little interesting with Asghar Afghan in full flow, but Aftab Alam rattled his stumps in the 17th over to virtually kill the game. Naib came back in the next over to scalp his fourth wicket on the night and the rest was a mere formality.

The Kandahar Knights could only manage 152 runs in their 20 overs and fell short by 13 runs. Gulbadin Naib was the star of the hour for the Legends as he returned with impressive figures of 4/12 in his 4 overs, scalping the likes of Brendon McCullum, Paul Stirling, Karim Sadiq and Kevin O’Brien.

Brief Scores

Balkh Legends: 165/5 in 20 overs (Colin Munro 46, Ravi Bopara 34)

Kandahar Knights: 152/7 in 20 overs (Asghar Afghan 45; Gulbadin Naib 4/12)

Result: Balkh Legends won by 13 runs.

Player of the match: Gulbadin Naib

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