The Afghanistan Premier League 2018 was scheduled between 5-21 October 2018. It was a tournament involving five teams from Afghanistan.
The five teams were Balkh Legends, Kabul Zwanan, Kandahar Knights, Nangarhar Leopards and Paktia Panthers. The tournament was organised at Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
Legends defeated the Zwanan by 4 wickets in the finals and won the inaugural edition of the tournament.
Let us have a look at the best XI of the tournament.
#1 Chris Gayle (Balkh Legends)
Chris Gayle is one of the most destructive batsmen from Jamaica. He is the third highest run-getter of the tournament. He reached the landmark of 12000 T20 runs in the final of the tournament. He is the first person to achieve that feat.
His highest score was 80 against the Zwanan on 14 October. He ended his domestic List-A career on 6 October 2018.
Matches- 7, Runs- 315, HS- 80, Average- 45, Strike Rate- 172.13.
#2 Mohammad Shahzad (Paktia Panthers) (WK)
Mohammad Shehzad is the accomplished wicket-keeper hailing from Nangarhar, Afghanistan. He ended up being the highest run-getter of the tournament. His best score in the tournament was 78* against the Leopards on 14 October. He was the first batsman in the tournament to score 300+ runs.
Matches- 9, Runs- 344, HS- 78*, Average- 43, Strike Rate- 174.61, Dismissals-6.
#3 Hazratullah Zazai (Kabul Zwanan)
Hazratullah Zazai is an emerging batsman from Afghanistan. He is the only centurion of the tournament. He scored 124 against the Leopards on 9 October. He smashed six sixes off Abdullah Mazari in the 4th over and scored the joint fastest half-century against the Legends on 14 October. However, his efforts went in vain as the Legends won the match by 21 runs. He is the second highest run-getter of the tournament.
Matches- 10, Runs- 322, HS- 124, Average- 32.2, Strike Rate- 193.97.
#4 Ryan ten Doeschate (Balkh Legends)
Ryan ten Doeschate is the only Associate player to be on this XI. He has been impressive in the tournament. He is known for his consistency in T-20 leagues around the world. His best individual score in the tournament was 78* against the Zwanan on 6 October.
Matches- 9, Runs- 274, HS- 78*, Average- 54.8, Strike Rate- 126.26.
#5 Laurie Evans (Kabul Zwanan)
Laurie Evans was outstanding in the APL as he was in the Natwest T20 League. He has never played in an overseas T20 tournament before. He was the highest run-getter of Natwest tournament and continued his form in the APL as well. His highest score was 79* against the Panthers in the inaugural match of the tournament.
Matches- 9, Runs- 305, HS- 79*, Average- 61, Strike Rate- 142.52.
#6 Mohammad Nabi (Balkh Legends) (C)
Mohammad Nabi has played the most number of matches for Afghanistan. He led his team to the win in the inaugural edition of the Afghanistan Premier League. He blasted a cameo of 47 in just 16 balls against the Leopards in the first Semi-Final of the tournament. His best spell was 4/12, which came in the same match.
Matches- 10, Runs- 177, HS- 47, Average- 25.28, Strike Rate- 201.13, Wickets-9, BBI-4/12, Economy- 7.65.
#7 Rashid Khan (Kabul Zwanan)
Rashid Khan is one of the most dreaded all-rounders in cricket. Besides bowling, he is known for his cameo innings in T-20 matches as well. His highest score of 56* came against the Legends on 6 October, which went in vain as Legends chased the target of 177 and won by eight wickets. His best spell was 4/20 against the Panthers in the second Semi-Final. He was awarded as the Player of the Tournament.
Matches- 9, Runs- 173, HS- 56, Average- 34.6, Strike Rate- 198.85, Wickets-10, BBI-4/20, Economy- 6.53.
#8 Isuru Udana (Paktia Panthers)
Isuru Udana had a memorable tournament with the ball. He was the highest wicket-taker of the competition. The oppositions struggled to play his slow balls. His best spell of 4/38 was against the Legends on 10 October.
Matches- 8, Wickets- 17, BBI- 4/38, Economy- 7.65.
#9 Sayed Shirzad (Kandahar Knights)
Sayed Shirzad had an excellent start to his APL career. He was the second highest wicket-taker of the tournament. His talent to pick up wickets at crucial junctures proved to be an asset to his team. His best bowling figures were 4/19 against the Panthers on October 12, which were not enough to save his team as Knights lost the match by 9 runs.
Matches- 8, Wickets- 16, BBI- 4/19, Economy- 7.82.
#10 Mirwais Ashraf (Balkh Legends)
Mirwais Ashraf is known for his consistency in the domestic tournaments of Afghanistan. The rivals endeavored to pick up his pace, without much success. His best bowling figures were 4/19 against the Leopards on October 11.
Matches- 9, Wickets- 14, BBI- 4/19, Economy- 7.97.
#11 Qais Ahmad (Balkh Legends)
Qais Ahmad is an emerging leggie from Afghanistan. The rivals tried hard to pick up his spin without much rewards. He was the third highest wicket taker of the tournament. He registered his best figures of 5/18 in his T-20 career against the Zwanan in the final of the competition.
Matches- 9, Wickets- 15, BBI- 5/18, Economy- 6.26.