Twitter Reactions: Balkh Legends hand Kandahar Knights their second consecutive defeat

Twitter Reactions: Balkh Legends hand Kandahar Knights their second consecutive defeat

Legends are now at the top of the points table after winning both their matches.

Gulbadin Naib
Gulbadin Naib. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Balkh Legends kept Kandahar Knights winless after two matches as they defended a below-par total of 165 runs in style. Gulbadin Naib was the star bowler for them as he returned with the magical figures of 4/13 in his four overs. Interestingly, there were no half-centuries in this game and Munro’s early blitz with the bat proved to be the difference for the Legends. The Knights though would be disappointed after losing two matches and are the only team in the tournament now who haven’t won a game yet.

Earlier, the Knights won the toss and opted to bowl. Colin Munro, after failing in the previous game, got himself going tonight and slammed 46 runs off just 24 deliveries with four boundaries and three gigantic maximums. However, he was involved in a mix-up with his partner Usman Ghani as a promising stand of 48 runs broke. Soon Munro followed to leave his team well placed at 76/2 in the ninth over and this is where the tide turned dramatically.

Ryan Ten Doeschate, the hero of the last match, failed to contribute significantly as Amir Hamza nipped out to slow down the scoring rate. The duo of Ravi Bopara and Mohammad Nabi stitched a patient 30-run stand but it took close to four overs for them. The former though didn’t give up and smashed a couple of good hits.

However, some good death bowling never let the Legends off the hook. Eventually, they ended up scoring a total of 165 runs for the loss of five wickets after 20 overs. Amir Hamza was the best bowler for the Knights who kept it tight and also bowled a maiden over.

Legends stunningly defend the total

Many felt that the score was under par given the dew which plays a vital role late in the evening. Defending has been a tough ask in Sharjah over the last couple of days. Though the pitch was getting slower which made the hitting increasingly difficult. The openers Paul Stirling and Brendon McCullum found it tough to score runs upfront. However, both of them managed to hit some lusty blows to give their side a perfect start of 39 in 4.3 overs.

The introduction of Gulbadin Naib into the attack did wonders for the Balkh as he sent back Stirling and Karim Sadiq off consecutive deliveries and suddenly things looked tough for the Knights. McCullum was also bluffed by the same bowler after a few overs to make things interesting.

However, Asghar Afghan was in the mood today and he looked determined to take his team home. The skipper manoeuvred the ball superbly and kept on rotating the strike while also hitting the much-needed fours and sixes whenever the required run-rate went up. But the wickets kept on falling at the other end and Afghan could never unleash his strokes completely.

Meanwhile, the Aftab Alam dealt a telling blow to the Knights by castling the dangerous looking Afghan on 45. The dejected skipper walked back to the dugout with his team still needing 51 runs in 23 balls and Kandahar imploded soon in the quest for runs. Balkh Legends became the first team to defend a total late in the evening in the ongoing Afghanistan Premier League (APL) and they did it in style by winning the game by 32 runs.

Here’s how Twitter reacted during the course of the match:

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