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07 Oct 2018 by Rob

2018 Afghanistan Premier League – Nangarhar Leopards vs Paktia Panthers Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Sunday 7th October, 13:00 (UK)

Where? Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Weather? 35c with sunshine forecast all day

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

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

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

THE TEAM NEWS

NANGARHAR LEOPARDS

Coach: Venkatesh Prasad

Captain: Ben Cutting

  • The Nangarhar Leopards kicked off their Afghanistan Premier League campaign in impressive fashion as they comfortably overcame the Kandahar Knights by six wickets and nine balls to spare.

  • Stand-in skipper Ben Cutting was the star with the ball as he took 5/28 and restricting the Knights to just 139/9 demonstrated how their bowling attack is considered the best in the tournament and will only get stronger when Lamichhane and Russell are available.

  • They are expected to name an unchanged team although they may bring Fletcher in to add further batting firepower if he is ready to play but it would be no surprise if they stick with the same eleven.

PAKTIA PANTHERS

Coach: Dawlat Ahmadzai

Captain: Mohammad Shahzad

  • It looked highly likely that the Paktia Panthers would start their APL campaign with a victory in the opening match against Kabul Zwanan after hitting 218/4 but their bowlers were unable to defend the outstanding total.

  • The batting line-up could be bolstered further if English batsman Luke Wright us available to play here which is ominous after such an impressive display with the bat by skipper Shazhad and Raza in the opening game.

  • It is the bowling department which needs great improvement however and they desperately await Chris Jordan’s arrival as the team looks incredibly lop-sided in terms of quality towards the batting unit and their bowlers looked particularly vulnerable last time out.

THE PREDICTION

Paktia have some big names in their squad and their batting line-up could take the game away from any side, but their weak bowling unit has to be a big concern. Their squad has arguably the least balance of any team in the tournament and one suspects they will be far better chasing targets than setting them. The Leopards have an excellent bowling attack at their disposal and they will make it hard for the Panthers, and while their batting line-up is not as fearsome as their opponents, the overall balance in their team should give them the edge.

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