The stars of Afghanistan cricket over the past couple of years – Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi. The poster boys. The spin twins. The hard-hitting all-rounders now too. The first two players from Afghanistan to win contracts to the Indian Premier League. It was only fitting that these two led their own respective teams when their cricket board decided to host the inaugural Afghanistan Premier League (APL) in UAE between 5-21 October 2018.
What’s more fitting you’d ask? A little over two weeks later, these two have landed themselves a spot each in the APL T20 final, which will be played later tonight. What’s even better is both of Nabi and Rashid put up all-round performances in their respective semi-finals to make this final. Just yesterday, we spoke about Nabi scoring 47(16) and picking up 4/12 to take Balkh Legends into the APL 2018 final.
Now an important part of this innings was the captain Rashid Khan himself. The foundation was laid with a few quick starts from the Zwanan batsmen, but none could convert into a big score. Colin Ingram scored 44(27) and Laurie Evans score 31(21). However, the much needed momentum at the death was given by the captain Rashid, who smashed 2 fours and 3 sixes on his way to 35(19)* going into the innings break.
The youngster wasn’t going to just leave it at that. It was now his turn to do something with the ball, something he’s more known for doing. He did indeed last night, picking up 4/20 in 3.5 overs, ripping through the Panthers middle and lower-middle order. Only three Panthers batsmen reached double-digit scores and the veteran Shahid Afridi was the highest among them, scoring 27(16) as Paktia was bowled out for 102.
Now, it’s going to be a battle between two of Afghanistan’s best cricketers. Nabi has way more experience, but Rashid is turning out to be a revelation, loved more by the world as each day passes by. However, cricket is a team game and today, it’ll be less about Rashid vs Nabi and more about Balkh Legends vs Kabul Zwanan as the two teams battle it out to win the inaugural APL T20 title! Keep reading ReadScoops.com for more updates on the 2018 APL T20.
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