Afghanistan Premier League 2018, popularly known as APL, has had a prosperous run so far. Being in its first season, APL has witnessed a lot of gruelling encounters, a shell full of record books, finest knocks by the batsmen, bowlers doing the prophecy with the ball and the list goes on.
Unquestionably, the biggest highlight of the season has been Hazratullah Zazai's six sixes in an over. Afghanistan Cricket Board must be proud after witnessing an emergence of prodigious talents from their ongoing Afghanistan Premier League 2018.
APL 2018 is in its last week with the knockout stages nearby. To be precise, we are only left to witness five more league matches ahead of the knockout stages - semifinals and final. The top four teams will qualify for semi-finals. Eventually, the winner of Semifinal 1 and Semifinal 2 will contest for the grand finale at Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium in Sharjah, UAE.
With five league matches still to be played, no team is out of the contention for semifinals. Thus, let us have a look at what all the teams need to do to qualify for the semifinals.
#1 Balkh Legends
Balkh Legends have had a decent run at the tournament so far. They have fared brilliantly under the captaincy of Mohammad Nabi. Currently, Balkh Legends are at the top of the points table.
Right from the word go, Balkh Legends kicked off their campaign as a champion team with an immense amount of experience on board. Balkh Legends have shown that what experienced players can bring to the table. Besides, they also possess an excellent blend of national and overseas players.
With legendary overseas players in their side, Balkh Legends have proven to be a nightmare for any opposition in this league. Moreover, with the veteran players like Chris Gayle stepping up, Balkh proves to be an ominous entity in the coming games. To support their batsmen, they have had a decent bowling lineup as well. If batsmen fail to perform, then bowlers step up and vice-versa - an effective strategy employed by Balkh Legends in the league thus far.
With as many as five wins from their first six games, Balkh Legends are currently at the top of the table. Their only loss came against Paktia Panthers. Their remaining league matches are against Nangarhar Leopards and Kandahar Knights on 17th and 18th October respectively.
Qualification Status: Having won five out of their six matches, Balkh Legends have already qualified for the semifinal stages. Even if they lose their remaining two matches with the highest possible margins, they will march ahead to semifinal stage with the worst possible position being third.
Matches Played: 6
Matches Won: 5
Matches Lost: 1