APL 2018: Match 6, Kabul Zwanan vs Nangarhar Leopards, Preview: Both sides keen on getting back to winning ways
Once again, Leopards' icon player Andre Russell might not be available for selection.
Updated - Oct 9, 2018 11:09 am
Both Kabul Zwanan and Nangarhar Leopards registered stunning victories in their opening games but bowed down in their respective fixtures on Sunday. To lose momentum this early in the tournament will come at a hefty price which both sides would not want to pay.
The pitch behaviour in Sharjah has been pretty unpredictable but after a one-day gap, the groundsmen must’ve got enough to lay a belter of a track. The inaugural game saw over 430 runs being scored collectively and something similar is expected on Tuesday.
Both sides have been depending a lot on few players and without Ben Cutting‘s exploits, the Leopards seem quite a tame side. Once again, their icon player Andre Russell might not be available for them and the onus will be on Cutting and the spin duo of Mujeeb and Zahir to do the job for Nangarhar.
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, Fareed Ahmad, Muslim Musa and Zahir Shehzad.
Probable XI: Luke Ronchi (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Colin Ingram, Javed Ahmadi, Laurie Evans, Shahidullah Kamal, Rashid Khan (C), Wayne Parnell, Fareed Ahmad, Muslim Musa, Zahir Shehzad
Johnson Charles and Najeeb Tarakai will be opening the batting with Kiwi youngster Anton Devcich coming in at number 3. They have some amazing local stars in the middle like Rahmat Shah, Shahidi and Shafiqullah, who give a stable look to the line-up. The duo of Mujeeb and Zahir Khan will remain the two most important bowlers despite Mujeeb’s poor start thus far. Naveen-ul-Haq will be keen to continue his good form.
Probable XI: Najeeb Tarakai, Johnson Charles, Anton Devcich, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Shafiqullah Shafiq (wk), Ben Cutting (C), Mitchell McClenaghan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Zahir Khan
Focus will be on
Laurie Evans (Kabul Zwanan)
One of the surprise packages of the tournament, Laurie Evans chipped in with two fifties in two games already. The English all-rounder looks pretty comfortable in the Asian conditions and is currently the highest run-scorer in the tournament. He will be desperate to continue that form and remain at the top after the culmination of the tournament.
Zahir Khan (Nangarhar Leopards)
Perhaps the best opportunity for teenage sensation Zahir Khan to stitch a few good performances and earn a ticket to the World Cup next year. He already has started on a brilliant note and will be eager to finish the tournament with a stellar wicket-tally.
2 – Ben Cutting won two Player of the Match awards in both the games he has played.
210.53 – Rashid Khan has the best strike-rate among all the batsmen in the tournament
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