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HomeAfghanistan Premier LeagueAPL Final: Balkh Legends vs Kabul Zwanan Preview + Dream11

APL Final: Balkh Legends vs Kabul Zwanan Preview + Dream11

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

APL Final: Balkh Legends vs Kabul Zwanan Preview + Dream11 Cricket Blog Cricket Preview CricBlog

The first ever Afghanistan Premier League Final is upon us, and it’s between two sides in top form after thumping wins in their respective Semi Finals.

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Balkh Legends are fresh off the second biggest win in T20 history, thumping NL by 171 runs in a clinical display. BL’s strong batting line up on paper delivered strong results, smashing NL all over the park, and in the process highlighting why they finished top of the league. Their clinic with both bat and ball is something they would be aiming to repeat, but against a Kabul Zwanan side also coming off a big win, simply expecting the same performance to happen is dangerous.

Kabul Zwanan’s skipper Rashid Khan saved his best performance for the knockout game. His whirlwind 35* and 4/20 simply blew PP away, and against a strong BL batting line up, he will again be key. The quick turnaround between the Semi Final and Final could come at a possible disadvantage, but with the adrenaline that comes with the possibility of lifting silverware, KZ will sure to be primed for a big one.

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Key to a Balkh Legends win

In the Semi Final, the top four of Chris Gayle, Darwish Rasooli, Colin Munro and Mohammad Nabi blew NL away. Against a KZ side that has had its challenges with the ball this season, BL’s top four again holds the key to either setting or chasing very well.

Also, with BL possessing strong bowling performers in APL 2018, the battle against KZ’s confident batting line up will be one to look forward to. Mohammad Nabi was simply superb the other night, and so too Mirwais Ashraf, Aftab Alam and Qais Ahmed, who will again be key along with Gulbadin Naib.

Key to a Kabul Zwanan win

It was key that Rashid Khan dominated the Semi Final, and that he did. However, there were plenty of starts from KZ’s batsmen in the Semi Final – five of the top six reached double figures, with none reaching fifty. Against a good BL bowling attack, with a strong batting line up to boot, can the likes of Colin Ingram, Hazratullah Zazai and Laurie Evans provide a strong backbone to the KZ batting effort?
Also, KZ need to be primed for a big bowling effort. BL’s top four holds a big key to the result, and while Rashid Khan’s performance is vital, the support he receives from his teammates is equally as such. The wickets were well and truly shared around against PP yesterday – will there be a repeat?

Possible XIs

Balkh Legends possible XI: 1. Chris Gayle, 2. Darwish Rasooli, 3. Colin Munro, 4. Ryan ten Doeschate, 5. Ravi Bopara, 6. Mohammad Nabi (c), 7. Ikram Ali Khil (wk), 8. Gulbadin Naib, 9. Mirwais Ashraf, 10. Qais Ahmad, 11. Aftab Alam
Kabul Zwanan: 1. Luke Ronchi (wk), 2. Hazratullah Zazai, 3. Colin Ingram, 4. Asfar Zazai, 5. Laurie Evans, 6. Shawkat Zaman, 7. Shahidullah Kamal, 8. Rashid Khan (c), 9. Wayne Parnell, 10. Fareed Ahmad, 11. Zahir Shehzad

Dream11

Awesome Dream11 potential, again, with two strong batting and bowling teams. Below is my XI with pointers.
  • Luke Ronchi remains a dangerous batsman for KZ at the top.
  • Chris Gayle, Darwish Rasooli, Colin Ingram and Hazratullah Zazai are all capable of big runs. Colin Munro is also a good option.
  • Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan are must-haves, and Gulbadin Naib has had a solid tournament.
  • Mirwais Ashraf, Qais Ahmed and Muslim Musa offer good value with the ball.
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Stats and Facts

  • Balkh Legends finished the group stage on top, with Kabul finishing in third.
  • Hazratullah Zazai sits second in the APL 2018 leading run scorer charts with 312.

Prediction

Should be a great contest and may the best team win.
I will go with Balkh Legends to become the first ever winners of the Afghanistan Premier League, thanks to their excellent team balance. With both bat and ball, they have what it takes to perform under pressure.
Thanks for reading!
P.S., looking to improve your game or replicate your heroes? Claim discounts on any of 700+ cricket items at onlinecricstore.com with a single code! Find out more here!

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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