APL 2018, Semi-final 2, Paktia Panthers vs Kabul Zwanan Review: Kabul thrash Paktia to set up a marquee finale with the Legends

APL 2018, Semi-final 2, Paktia Panthers vs Kabul Zwanan Review: Kabul thrash Paktia to set up a marquee finale with the Legends

Skipper Rashid's all-round show helped the Zwanan setup a sensational summit clash against Balkh Legends on Sunday.

Afghanistan Premier League
Afghanistan Premier League. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Once again it was one-way traffic in the semi-final encounter of the inaugural Afghanistan Premier League (APL) and it only fair to say that the two best sides, Kabul Zwanan and Balkh Legends, entered the final. Unfortunately for Mohammad Shahzad’s Panthers, they showed no fighting spirit in a game of this magnitude thus ended up as the second best.

Batting first, Hazratullah Zazai and Luke Ronchi had given the side a brilliant start, but they didn’t stick around for a long period of time. After Ronchi’s dismissal, Wayne Parnell too walked back and the move to send him at number 3 failed for Rashid Khan.

Colin Ingram and Hazratullah Zazai got a partnership going and ensured that the scoring rate was still high. Despite Zazai’s dismissal, the likes of Laurie Evans and Ingram kept striking the ball clean and the scorecard was moving. The Panthers did chip in with a few wickets later, but Rashid stole the show towards the end.

The skipper registered a timely 35 off 19 balls, which helped Kabul finish with 192 for the loss of 9 wickets. For the Panthers, Shahid Afridi, Isuru Udana and youngster Ziaw Rahman chipped in with a brace each.

Rashid strikes with the ball as well

One of the best things about players like Rashid Khan is that they leave an impact on the game one way or the other. In this game, the skipper stepped up big time and delivered a classic all-rounder performance. Unfortunately for the Panthers, Rashid’s performance came at the cost of their humiliation.

Mohammad Shahzad, who has been giving the Panthers breathless starts every game, was dismissed in the very first over. Rashid came in to bowl the 4th over and picked up two wickets in quick succession. Muslim Musa chipped in with a brace as well, which killed the Paktia middle order.

Shahid Afridi managed to stick in the middle for a little while but apart from that it was a dismal performance by their batting lineup. Only three batsmen registered double figures and that is not what a captain expects whilst chasing a total in excess of 190.

Eventually, Rashid returned with a 4-fer and Paktia got bowled out for 102 runs. Muslim Musa chipped in with a wicket as well to help Kabul register a 90-run win. They now have setup a sensational summit clash against the Legends on Sunday, which promises a lot of runs, drama and entertainment.

Brief Score

Kabul Zwanan: 192/9 in 20 overs (Colin Ingram 44, Rashid Khan 35*; Shahid Afridi 2/25)

Paktia Panthers: 102 all out in 14.5 overs (Rashid Khan 4/20, Muslim Musa 2/17)

Player of the match: Rashid Khan

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