Afghan Premier League Cricket

Kabul starts APLT20 with a winning start in the opening game

Chasing a target over 200 always needs a lot of commitment and zeal to make it to that total and tonight Kabul did the same to achieve the target of 219 inside their 20 overs. All of their batsmen chipped in and contributed to the team’s cause of chasing this mammoth total of 218 posted by Paktia Panthers after scintillating knocks of Shahzad and Raza. In the end Laurie Evans came out from nowhere to made Kabul’s empathic win to a reality.

After winning the toss Kabul Zwanan decided to bowl first, was aiming to restrict Paktia below 180. Paktia openers started off with some blistering shots and put 100 runs opening stand. This partnership was dominated by Shahzad who scored 67 off 39 balls, stoned the foundation for his team to score beyond 200, which was eventually fulfilled by Sikandar Raza’s brilliant knock of 78 in 40 balls in which he has hit 7 sixes and 5 fours. Paktia finished their innings at 218 runs, only Zahir Shahzad looked impressive with the bowling that picked up wickets of both openers.

At the halfway stage Paktia was the favorites to win the game, but Kabul batting department had some other thoughts, when they came to bat in the second innings they were required to make runs at 10.95 runs per over, which was already a tough ask. As already mentioned Kabul batsmen chipped in around the Laurie Evens who stood tall and scored an unbeaten 79 off 39 balls – a knock which included 5 fours and 6 sixes played a great innings to guide his team over the line. Apart from Fazal Rahman (20/2), other Paktia bowlers disappointed their fan base, they all were looked rusty and out of the shape, Paktia was banking on Afridi’s leg-spin which wasn’t there he finished his spell with 55 and went wicket less.

Player of the Match: On his brilliant batting Evens was awarded as a player of the match.

Laurie Evens: “I have not really played in wickets like that. It was a brilliant wicket to bat on. It was difficult for the bowlers, they struggled with the dew. We have got a lovely dressing room; really happy with the win. On good wickets, in this tournament, any score will be chasable. It’s brilliant to be here.”

Smart scorecard:

Paktia Panthers 218/4 in 20.0 overs (Sikandar Raza 78, Mohammad Shahzad 67; Zahir Shahzad 36/2)

Kabul Zwanan 220/7 in 20.0 overs (Laurie Evans 79, Hazratullah Zazai 27; Fazal Rahman 20/2)

Next Encounter: Kandahar Knights vs Nangarhar Leopards 4pm Local Time.

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