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17 Oct 2018 by Rob Esteva

2018 Afghanistan Premier League – Kandahar Knights vs Paktia Panthers Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Wednesday 17th October, 17:00 (UK)

Where? Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Weather? Scorching temperatures of 34-36c expected

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

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

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

THE TEAM NEWS

KANDAHAR KNIGHTS

Coach: Kabir Ali

Captain: Asghar Afghan

  • The Kandahar Knights were badly stung on Tuesday as they contrived to lose from an excellent position against Kabul Zwanan as Rashid Khan’s stunning 27 from eight balls saw them slip to another costly defeat.

  • Paul Stirling’s place is coming under some scrutiny following his duck on Tuesday and he has only managed a paltry 43 from six innings and Riki Wessels must surely be handed an opportunity to bat further up the order after he has impressed but not had enough time to bat on occasion.

  • Despite the demoralising loss to Kabul, their bowling unit did well to keep them in the match so that is no concern but with only three batsmen having scored 100 runs or more in total, they simply need more of their batsmen like Stirling and McCullum to step up if they are to put pressure on the Leopards who occupy the last semi-final spot above them.

PAKTIA PANTHERS

Coach: Dawlat Ahmadzai

Captain: Mohammad Shahzad

  • The Panthers continue to produce mixed performances so they will be looking to improve their consistency to carry into the knockout phase and a win here will give them a boost in their attempts to top the standings.

  • Skipper Mohammad Shahzad has been on fire and one of the best batsmen in the tournament so far having smashed 260 runs and three half-centuries so they will look to him once again along with Ihsanullah to get off to another blistering start.

  • The poor form of Shahid Afridi with the bat has not been an issue so far given that the batting unit has otherwise been in good form but if being ultra-critical, the all-rounders and lower order need to step up on the rare occasion the top order fails to produce so some runs would be handy from them.

THE PREDICTION

This is desperation time for the Kandahar Knights now who are in must-win mode but they come off a demoralising loss on Tuesday in a game they should have won. They have to win this match regardless of the result of the earlier match, but they really need to improve with the bat and give their bowlers a better chance. They bowling attack is decent all round and is keeping them vaguely competitive but their batsmen have to raise their game further. Paktia have had a few days of rest since their last game on Sunday and while they are somewhat unpredictable, they still have the edge in quality that they have to be favoured here once again.

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