The Kabul Times

Balkh Legends open APL 2018 campaign with win over Kabul Zwanan

SHARJAH: Balkh Legends beat the Kabul Zwanan by eight wickets in their first game of the Afghanistan Premier League (APL), in Sharjah city of the UAE.
Kabul Zwanan posted a competitive 176 for six with Laurie Evans and Rashid Khan scoring aggressive fifties. However, the Mohammad Nabi-led side were largely untroubled during the run-chase and got through comfortably.
 Chasing 177 for victory, Balkh Legends kept themselves in the hunt from the outset, although Colin Munro was bowled by Rashid Khan for only seven in the fifth over. Ryan ten Doeschate then came to the crease and stitched a 59-run partnership with Usman Ghani (40).
Ten Doeschate continued after the fall of Ghani. He brought up his fifty off 29 balls with a massive six. Ravi Bopara joined him in the chase and brought up his 6000th T20 run. Kabul Zwanan were unable to restrict the frequent flow of boundaries as Balkh Legends were guided by two very experienced players.  
 Although ten Doeschate (78 not out) dominated much of their partnership, Bopara (38 not out) unleashed his best in the 18th over to milk 21 runs off Muslim Musa — which effectively sealed the game for Balkh Legends. This clinical run-chase came at the back of an entertaining first innings.
Considering the events of the previous games, Balkh Legends chose to bowl on winning the toss. Up until their 12th over, their plans worked well as Kabul Zwanan were 76 for five. Nabi and company kept things tight, bowled and fielded well to maintain the pressure. Evans, the hero of the opening game, was kept quiet for a long time.
At the fall of the fifth wicket, Rashid joined Evans and in tandem they set off on the recovery job. At the end of the 16th over, Kabul Zwanan were still looking at the prospect of an average score at 103 for five. Rashid and Evans then started the carnage. Aftab Alam was picked for 15 runs. Evans then stuck into Ben Laughlin, smashing him for three sixes and a four. Rashid then went better to cart 28 off the 19th over bowled by Bopara — featuring four sixes and a four.
 This surge helped Kabul Zwanan push on to 176 for six. Evans recorded his second fifty in as many games with this knock mixing caution and aggression to perfection. Rashid’s pyrotechnics entertained the audiences and his reputation as a batsman continues to grow.
Brief scores: Kabul Zwanan 176 for six in 20 overs (Laurie Evans 64, Rashid Khan 56 not out; Mohammad Nabi 2 for 20, Aftab Alam 2 for 36) lost to Balkh Legends 177 for two in 18.5 overs (Usman Ghani 40, Ryan ten Doeschate 78 not out, Ravi Bopara 38 not out; Rashid Khan 1 for 24, Muslim Musa 1 for 38) by eight wickets.
The Kabul Times

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