• Paktia Panthers Keep Kandahar Knights Winless In The Humdinger At Sharjah

      October 13, 2018    

    A first triumph demonstrated to be indescribable once again for the Kandahar Knights as the Paktia Panthers framed a nail-biting nine-run win in the Gulbahar Afghanistan Premier League (APL) at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday night.

    Having come nearby in contrast to Kabul Zwaan on Thursday night, only to go down by two runs, the Knights had their best chance after confining Panthers to the lowest total of the competition up to now.

    But the 128-run pursuing was heading nowhere after another wretched batting catastrophe following another fine bowling performance from Sri Lankan medium pacer Isuru Udana (3-19), left-arm Sharafuddin Ashraf (3-31) and medium pacer Yamin Ahmadzai (2-20).

    And though Najibullah Zadran and then Karim Janet tried to set some life into it, the Panthers overcame in the end.

    The Kandahar Knights, headed by Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan, have lost all four of their kinds of stuff.

    "The bowlers did well. Lala (Shahid Afridi) gave confidence to the bowlers that we can defend this total," said Panthers captain Mohammad Shahzad.

    "We felt 127 was not a big total. But Paktia team bowled very well. Unfortunately, our batsmen did not take responsibility," Afghan said.

    Previous, it was moderately the satire that the Paktia Panthers, the only team to have scored over 200 twice, creased up for the deepest total of the tournament up to now.

    The Panthers were shot out for a measly 127 and the man responsible for that was left-arm pacer Sayed Shirzad.

    The 24-year-old Shirzad, who has been in great form in Afghanistan's Shpageeza Cricket League this season, picked four wickets for 19. In the meantime, UAE medium pacer Mohammad Naveed took two for 34.

    Zimbabwean all-rounder Sikandar Raza played a unique hand with a half-century, his 51 off 42 deliveries with five boundaries, being his second of the competition after he had made 78 not out against Kabul Zwaan in the opening fixture.

    Sri Lankan Isuru Udana made a run-a-ball 23 but the rest of the batting thrashed.

    The regulation of norms finally caught up with Panthers captain Mohammad Shahzad with the free-scoring opener making just four before being confined for room and holing out to Najibullah Zadran off Naveed.

    Shahzad had had scores of 67, 53 and 42 thus far against Kabul Zwaan, Nangarhar Leopards and the Balkh Legends respectively.

    Brief scores:

    Paktia Panthers: 127 all out in 18.2 overs (Sikandar Raza 51, Isuru Udana 23, Sayed Shirzad 4-19, Mohammad Naveed 2-34) beat Kandahar Knights: 118 all out in 19.4 overs (Karim Janet 27, Najibullah Zadran 20, Isuru Udana 3-19, Sharafuddin Ashraf 3-31, Yamin Ahmadzai 2-20) by 9 runs.

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