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HomeAfghanistan Premier LeagueAPL Semi Final #1: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Preview + Dream11

APL Semi Final #1: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Preview + Dream11

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

APL Semi Final #1: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Preview + Dream11 Cricket Blog CricBlog Cricket Preview

The Semi-Finals of the inaugural Afghanistan Premier League (APL) is here.

With Australia unfortunately stinking things up badly in the UAE, who will light up Sharjah and become the first ever APL Finalist?

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Balkh Legends, boasting a squad with plenty of T20 experience, have had a good tournament. Finishing first perhaps warrants greater reward than a knockout semi final against a side that has lost more games than its won, but to be the best, you need to overcome all challenges. Under the captaincy of Mohammad Nabi, Balkh Legends won six out of their eight games, and deservedly finished top of the table. Can they transfer that form to the knockouts?

Nangarhar Leopards, with three wins and five losses, have snuck into the knockout stages of the tournament. Their batting line up, despite possessing good T20 experience and quality, has been inconsistent, and as a result start this clash as outsiders. What will give them hope though is victory in the last clash against Balkh Legends just two days ago, where they were excellent with the ball. Can they repeat that effort again?

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Key to a Balkh Legends win

The Kandahar Knights were on the end of a huge Gayle storm, and BL will be hoping NL will be on the end of one tonight. Chris Gayle hammered 73 off just 22 balls just yesterday, and holds a big key in dismantling a NL attack that has potential to do well.
Of course, as NL did well v BL two days ago, Gayle’s contribution is key, and so too the likes of Colin Munro, Ryan ten Doeschate and Ravi Bopara. Also, can the bowlers, led by Mirwais Ashraf, Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib continue their solid tournaments with the ball to get BL into the Final?

Key to a Nangarhar Leopards win

In Andre Fletcher, Anton Devcich and Johnson Charles, NL have a top three that can be damaging on their day. However, “on their day” has been the theme of NL this tournament, who need to shed their inconsistencies if they are to go further in this tournament.
What can the Afghanistani batting pair deliver in this clash? Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi, two promising performers for their national side in recent times, also hold an important key in holding the innings together for NL.
Also, NL restricted BL really well in the last clash, limiting the top of the table side to 133/8. But, Chris Gayle will be available for this clash as opposed to two days ago, so what can the likes of Mujeeb ur Rahman, Ben Cutting and Zahir Khan achieve against a BL side that has potential to thrill?

Possible XIs

Balkh Legends possible XI: 1. Chris Gayle, 2. Colin Munro, 3. Darwish Rasooli, 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
Nangarhar Leopards possible XI: 1. Andre Fletcher, 2. Anton Devcich, 3. Johnson Charles, 4. Rahmat Shah, 5. Hashmatullah Shahidi, 6. Shafiqullah Shafiq (wk), 7. Ben Cutting (c), 8. Naveen-ul-Haq, 9. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 10. Zahir Khan, 11. Fazal Niazai

Dream11

Playing Dream11 for this game? Here is my side with a few pointers below.
APL Semi Final #1: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Preview + Dream11 Cricket Preview CricBlog Cricket Blog
  • Chris Gayle should be in your side, and I will captain him because of his huge potential.
  • Ryan ten Doeschate has been a good performer in APL 2018, and so too Anton Devcich.
  • Ravi Bopara, Gulbadin Naib and Ben Cutting have all had good tournaments. Going in with three all-rounders is worth it.
Keen to have a go yourself? Register today!

Stats and Facts

  • Nangarhar Leopards reached the knockouts with more losses than wins.
  • Anton Devcich is third leading run scorer in the tournament with 267 runs.

  • Gulbadin Naib is equal third highest wicket taker, with 12.

Prediction

Danger game for the top of the table BL, up against a side that hasn’t fully fired.
But, with the firepower BL possess, I will back them for a win.
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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