Twitter Reactions: The unrivalled Balkh Legends win the first edition of the APL

Chris Gayle and Qais Ahmed left the Twitterati with a lot to talk about.

Balkh Legends
Balkh Legends. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It is the Balkh Legends who are crowned the champions of Afghanistan Premier League 2018. The side defeated the Kabul Zwanan in a low-scoring encounter to take home the glittery title. The Legends were termed to be the tournament favourites right at the start and have lived up to all of those expectations. And later on, when the Universe Boss Chris Gayle joined in, the side turned out to be an even more dominative force.

It was the big man who was the star with the bat, yet again, on the night of the final. He registered his fourth consecutive half-century as took his team across the line. However, the 18-year-old Qais Ahmed was the show stealer with a five-wicket haul. His bowling spell caught the opposition off guard.

The youngster was adjudged the ‘Man of the Match’ in the massive game. Having lost just two games this season, the Balkh Legends deserved to be the undisputed champions. But, the Kabul Zwanan also played some good brand of cricket until the final. They’d feel they were around 15-20 runs short with the bat.

Qais Ahmed puts up a mighty show with the ball in hand

Rashid Khan went in with the same strategy to bat first after having won the toss. However, the openers Luke Ronchi and Hazratullah Zazai failed to deliver for the team when they were required it the most. As a result, Wayne Parnell, whose job was to tonk a few around going in at number started playing responsibly. But, this didn’t really work out as he ended up consuming a lot of deliveries putting pressure on the others.

Except for Javed Ahmadi who has got everyone interested for a brief while with a few lusty blows, no one else could really deliver. The Balkh Legends restricted the Zwanans to a not-so-competitive 132/9 after 20 overs.

Experienced campaigners Gayle, Bopara absorb all the pressure

The pressure of the final was clearly showing on the Balkh Legends players. They were down to 37/3 in 7 overs and seemed to be under pressure. But, the man for the big occasion turned up. Gayle scored 56 off 34 early in the innings to take the team one step closer to the target. It was Ravi Bopara, who got all his experience to the fore, remained unbeaten on 32 off 29 deliveries and took his team over the line with 11 balls to spare.

Twitterati was overjoyed to see the Balkh Legends do well. They were all praise for the champions. However, they also empathised with Rashid Khan who fought his heart out throughout the tournament despite the odds not going his way. Chris Gayle and Qais Ahmed left the Twitterati with a lot to talk about.

Here is how Twitterati reacted during the final of the APL: