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11 Oct 2018 by Rob Esteva

2018 Afghanistan Premier League – Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Thursday 11th October, 17:00 (UK)

Where? Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Weather? Scorching temperatures of 37-38c expected

What channel is it on? Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards will not be televised live in the UK

Where can I stream the match? Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards will not be streamed live in the UK

Are tickets still available? https://www.q-tickets.com/apl/eventlist

THE TEAM NEWS

BALKH LEGENDS

Coach: Simon Helmot

Captain: Mohammad Nabi

  • The Balkh Legends lost their unbeaten record on Wednesday as they could not overcome Paktia Panthers’ excellent total of 204/4 and they ultimately fell 37 runs short so they remain on four points after three matches.

  • Despite being able to call upon Chris Gayle for the first time, he could not help fire them to victory as despite the likes of him, Ghani, Munro, Bopara and Nabi all getting good starts, none of them could kick on to make a big total which would likely have made the difference.

  • Their key men Nabi and Gulbadin Naib both struggled with the ball too so they will be hoping to improve here while their batsmen will have to improve here too against a better bowling attack than they faced on Wednesday. They will likely name the same team for this match.

NANGARHAR LEOPARDS

Coach: Venkatesh Prasad

Captain: Ben Cutting

  • After winning their opening match against Kandahar Knights, the Leopards have struggled in their last two matches having lost to Paktia Panthers and Kabul Zwanan on Tuesday, so they will be looking to bounce back here and raise their game.

  • The feeling last time out against Kabul Zwanan was that they had hit a defendable total as Devcich’s unbeaten 94 from 58 balls saw them reach a respectable 188/5 but their bowling attack could not halt the vicious start from Hazratullah Zazai and they were smashed to all parts of the ground.

  • The bowling was the biggest let down in that match and they may consider changes although it is key men like McClenaghan, Cutting and Mujeeb Ur Rahman who struggled and really need to step up against yet another formidable batting line-up. Andre Russell did not bowl in his opening match but he may take a couple of overs here.

THE PREDICTION

Both of these teams are coming off defeats but it is the Balkh Legends who have more reason for optimism than the Leopards. Their batting line-up looks formidable and they will fancy their chances of taking apart this Leopards bowling attack that was smashed to all parts last time out. The Leopards' bowling unit is the better on paper but their form isn’t great, while the Legends have the edge in batting. The Leopards are relying heavily on some key individuals to fire with the bat but the Legends have more options and depth that if just one of their batsmen clicks into gear, they can take this game away from the Leopards and they are favoured to bounce back with a win in this one.

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