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18 Oct 2018 by Rob Esteva

2018 Afghanistan Premier League – Kabul Zwanan vs Paktia Panthers Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Thursday 18th October, 17:00 (UK)

Where? Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Weather? Temperatures of 35-36c expected

What channel is it on? Kabul Zwanan vs Paktia Panthers will not be televised live in the UK

Where can I stream the match? Kabul Zwanan vs Paktia Panthers cannot be streamed live in the UK

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

THE TEAM NEWS

KABUL ZWANAN

Coach: Heath Streak

Captain: Rashid Khan

  • After two losses in a row, Kabul Zwanan bounced back on Tuesday with a superb win against Kandahar Knights as they chased down 152/5 in a match they looked destined to lose before some late big hitting.

  • Skipper Rashid Khan was the star of the show on Tuesday as he smashed 27 runs from eight balls to give his side an unlikely victory and it is with the bat that he has surprised many in this tournament hitting 135 runs in six innings with an average of 33.75 and at a stunning strike rate of 211.

  • There is a fair chance they will be playing Paktia in the semi-finals so it will be interesting to see whether they field their strongest team and attempt to get a psychological edge over them in this match or whether they rest some of their key players.

PAKTIA PANTHERS

Coach: Dawlat Ahmadzai

Captain: Mohammad Shahzad

  • The Paktia Panthers are one of the more dynamic teams in the tournament but they have struggled to find any consistency so far and are arguably the most unpredictable team in the Afghanistan Premier League.

  • Sikandar Raza and Shahid Afridi were both rested on Wednesday in the loss to the Kandahar Knights but both are expected to return here as they bid to get a win to carry some momentum into the play-offs against the team they will likely face.

  • Skipper Mohammad Shahzad is the second highest runscorer in the tournament so far with 281 runs and he will be keen to catch leader Hazratullah Zazai who has 287 runs and the duo will face off in this match.

THE PREDICTION

There is little to choose between these two sides and their first meeting in the very first match of the Afghanistan Premier League showed just how well matched they were. Kabul Zwanan won that game by three wickets as they chased down 218/4 in what was a highly entertaining game and this match could easily follow suit. Much will depend on the strip they play on but batting is clearly the strength of both teams. Both are expected to name their strongest teams and this match could well come down to which of their openers get off to the best start. That will set the platform for a big score or run chase, and whether that is Shahzad or Hazratullah, will be the key to winning this game.

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