APL 2018, Match 4, Nangarhar Leopards vs Paktia Panthers, Match Prediction: Who Will Win the Match?
Paktia will be keen on winning this game after losing the tournament opener.
Updated - Oct 6, 2018 6:35 pm
The action continues in the inaugural edition of the Afghanistan Premier League (APL) as a super Sunday will witness yet another doubleheader. Nangarhar Leopards and Paktia Panthers will lock horns for the first time in the tournament. The latter side is coming off a shocking loss in the tournament opener which went down to the last over the other night.
Led by Mohammad Shahzad, the Panthers posted a mammoth total of 218 runs after being invited to bat first. But their bowlers failed to defend it. The likes of Shahid Afridi and Sikandar Raza were taken to the cleaners and they will be keen to fight back in this game now. The batsmen, on the other hand, have to make sure that they continue in the same vein.
Leopards are currently playing their first match against Kandahar Knights and would be concentrating on the same. A winning start to their campaign will lift their confidence which could be used going into this encounter. They will also have a psychological edge over the opposition then who has lost their first match and will be under more pressure to get things going.
Irrespective of the outcome of their opening match, the Leopards led by Ben Cutting are unlikely to make any changes to their playing XI. Andre Russell will be continued to miss as he will join the team on Tuesday. Ben Cutting will be the leader of the pack again while the likes of Johnson Charles, Anton Devcich will have the responsibility of playing well at the top. The middle-order is also in the safe hands with Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi up their sleeves.
Probable XI: Johnson Charles, Anton Devcich, Najeeb Tarakai, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Shafiqullah Shafiq (wk), Ben Cutting (c), Mitchell McClenaghan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Zahir Khan
Paktia Panthers will guard against making any changes to the team for this game. Their batting line-up is filled with explosive players and Shahzad leads the way who is in scintillating form. However, Calum MacLeod should play at the top and maybe should accommodate the number three slot. Sikandar Raza, Cameron Delport and Shahid Afridi can make the difference in the death overs like the Zimbabwean did in the first match.
The bowling though seems to be a worry for them. All leaked runs and more is expected of Afridi who went for more than 50 runs. Afghanistan bowling contingent will improve with growing experience definitely and a better show might be on display on Sunday.
Probable XI: Mohammad Shahzad (c & wk), Ihsanullah Janat, Calum MacLeod, Sikandar Raza, Cameron Delport, Shahid Afridi, Samiullah Shenwari, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Zia-ur-Rehman, Tahir Khan, Yousuf Zazai
Probable Top Performers
Rahmat Shah – Nangarhar Leopards | Mohammad Shahzad – Paktia Panthers
The prediction is for Nangarhar to win this encounter.