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19 Oct 2018 by Rob Esteva

2018 Afghanistan Premier League – Kabul Zwanan vs Paktia Panthers Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 20th October, 17:00 (UK)

Where? Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Weather? 35c and sunshine all day

What channel is it on? Kabul Zwanan vs Paktia Panthers will be televised live on FreeSports

Where can I stream the match? Kabul Zwanan vs Paktia Panthers will not 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 making a bright start to the tournament, Kabul Zwanan dropped off in the second half of the group stage losing three of their last four matches so while they remain a dangerous team with Rashid Khan in their ranks, they carry little momentum and form coming into the semis.

  • Colin Ingram skippered the side against Paktia Panthers on Thursday as regular captain Rashid Khan was rested but he will return to the team for this game and that will provide them with a major boost with bat, ball and for his general enthusiasm and attitude.

  • The bowling attack really needs to step up regardless of the return of Rashid Khan though Shahidullah, who actually has a better economy rate than the captain, will also return after being rested and the hopes of this team largely rest on the duo.

PAKTIA PANTHERS

Coach: Dawlat Ahmadzai

Captain: Mohammad Shahzad

  • Paktia Panthers will take some heart from the fact that they beat Kabul Zwanan on Thursday after losing to them in the very first match of APL 2018, but they will expect a tougher test here with both teams fielding full strength teams.

  • Skipper Mohammad Shahzad was key to the win on Thursday as they chased down 168/4 relatively comfortably thanks to his 62 from 37 balls and that takes his total run tally to an APL high 343 and he is arguably just as key to his side as Rashid Khan is to Kabul Zwanan.

  • Sikandar Raza is unavailable as he is on international duty but MacLeod stepped up last time out in his absence while Delport could also be called upon to return to the side as this could easily prove to be a batting shootout like their first match was.

THE PREDICTION

These two teams are incredibly well matched and both matches played between them have been extremely close so far. The batting line-ups are both strong with big hitters in both teams so it could easily come down to whichever team gets off to the quickest start. Kabul have the edge with more depth further down the innings which could be vital. That said, the edge in the bowling department arguably lies with the Panthers as they have more depth there. Outside of Rashid Khan and Shahidullah, Kabul Zwanan’s bowlers can be taken apart. There really is little to separate them and this should go down to the wire, but the marginal preference has to go to the exuberance of Rashid Khan to spur his team on to the final.

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