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Afghanistan Premier League 2018, Match 2 - Nangarhar Leopards vs Kandahar Kings Live Score, Commentary and Updates

Hello and welcome to Sportskeeda's live coverage of the second match of the first APL season.
Updated: 06 October 2018 21:07 IST - Published: 06 October 2018 11:10 IST
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Skipper Ben Cutting's outstanding spell of 5/28 has set up Nangarhar's comfortable triumph. He is deservedly named Player of the Match. Thanks for joining us. Do tune in for the next match between Balkh Legends and Kabul Zwanan. The fascinating tussle, which will see Rashid Khan squaring off against Chris Gayle, will begin at 21:30 IST. 
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As for Kandahar, they will be ruing their inadequate effort with the bat. On a surface where 160 could have done the trick, they aimed for much more and consequently ended up with a below-par total. 
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Chasing 140, Nangarhar got off to a blazing start as both openers took the attack to the Kandahar bowlers. A mini collapse, wherein they lost three wickets for ten runs, threatened to derail their progress. But Shafiqullah Shafiq and Hashmatullah Shahidi combined to deliver a comprehensive victory.  
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Fittingly, Shafiqullah Shafiq hits the winning runs. He has looked a class apart while batting on a difficult surface.

Nangarhar Leopards win by six wickets and nine balls to spare
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Shafiqullah brings up the fifty partnership with a nimble-footed six. With one majestic blow, he has all but sealed the game for his team.
Nangarhar Leopards 134/4 in 18 overs
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In what can only be construed as basic errors, some more indifferent fielding releases the pressure on the batsmen. An unnecessary throw from wicket-keeper Karim Sadiq and no fielder is backing up. The result - another overthrow. 
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Courtesy of the four-run over from Salamkheil, the Knights have a slim chance. They have to defend 18 runs from three overs. Sayed Shirzad is re-introduced into the attack. 
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Finally, some desperate fielding from Kandahar. Paul Stirling's admirable commitment converts what could have been back to back boundaries into dot balls. 
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Runs continue to flow for Nangarhar. Tymal Mills is relying heavily on the slower delivery. Seems as if dew might be beginning to take effect at Sharjah. Nangarhar Leopards 118/4 in 16 overs
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Things turning helter-skelter at the grand old venue. Kandahar are unravelling quickly as an overthrow, four byes and another misfield at the boundary reduce the required run-rate to less than six for the first time in this innings. 
Nangarhar Leopards 111/4 in 15 overs
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Hashmatullah Shahidi reinforces Leopards' strong position with a mighty effective slog-sweep six. 
Nangarhar Leopards 98/4 in 14 overs
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Waqar Salamkheil combining stifling seam with accurate spin. He is winding back the clock to those glorious days of Chris Harris and Gavin Larsen. 
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Leopards need 51 runs from the last seven overs. With six wickets in hand, surely they must be favourites at this stage in the innings. 
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Amir Hamza bowls out. Shafiqullah spoils the left-arm spinner's figures by lifting him into the long-on stands for a colossal six. 
Nangarhar Leopards 89/4 in 13 overs
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Apart from picking a handy wicket, Karim Sadiq concedes just five runs from his first over. Not a bad start for the gloveman's bowling spell.
Nangarhar Leopards 81/4 in 12 overs
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Would you believe it? The wicket-keeper has dismissed Devcich by delivering a straightforward off-break.
What an inspired bowling change from Asghar Afghan! Using all those years of experience as captain.  

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In a bizarre twist, wicket-keeper Karim Sadiq comes in to have a bowl. 
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Devcich tries to outwit the left-arm spinner by unfurling a reverse-sweep. Does not get it, though. Asghar is keeping an in-out field and singles are on offer. 
Nangarhar Leopards 76/3 in 11 overs
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Hashmatullah Shahidi joins Anton Devcich in the middle. With two left-handers at the crease, can Hamza continue to threaten? 
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OUT! The third umpire gives the decision in the bowler's favour. Back to back wickets and Kandahar suddenly find themselves in with a massive chance. 
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An appeal for stumping off Amir Hamza's bowling. The left-arm spinner throws the ball up and draws Rahmat Shah forward. Is there something behind the line?
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Although the boundaries have been pulled forward for this encounter, Sharjah presents plenty of opportunities for batsmen to drop and run. The Leopards must focus on manipulating the field and running hard between the wickets.
Nangarhar Leopards 74/2 in 10 overs
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Najeeb Tarakai throws his wicket away with an ungainly slog sweep. Must say, a needless shot under the circumstances. Waqar Salamkheil's dibbly-dobbly medium pace does the trick for Kandahar. 
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A reasonably quiet over from Karim Janat comes to an end. Just five singles.
Nangarhar Leopards 68/1 in 9 overs
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Kandahar seem to be short of quality options in the spin department. This barrage of medium pace does not appear to challenge the Leopards. Have they got their selections wrong for a slow surface?
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Najeeb Tarakai going strong at the moment. He is batting on 28 from 20 balls. The experienced Anton Devcich is at the other end. 
Nangarhar Leopards 63/1 in 8 overs
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The required run-rate is hovering between six and seven. The Leopards need just one steady partnership to set the platform for victory. Time is slowly beginning to run out for Kandahar. 
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With fine leg in the circle, Janat bowls a half-tracker around the leg-stump. Needless to say, Najeeb Tarakai duly dispatches it for a boundary.
Nangarhar Leopards 54/1 in 7 overs
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Asghar Afghan brings all-rounder Karim Janat into the attack. Fresh from scoring a useful run-a-ball 39, can he contribute with the ball as well? 
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Maybe, luck is changing for the Knights. This time around, Charles' top-edge finally settles into the safe hands of Kevin O'Brien. Shirzad lands the first blow.
Nangarhar Leopards 46/1 in 6 overs
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Must be frustrating for Kandahar's bowlers. They are deceiving the batsmen by taking the pace off. But the edges are somehow landing safely. 
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In vintage Caribbean style, Charles nonchalantly pulls a back of length delivery over the square-leg boundary. Mills could have soon extracted revenge. However, a mistimed chip evades a sprawling O'Brien running backwards from mid-off.
Nangarhar Leopards 44/0 in 5 overs
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A change of ends for Mills. 
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Charles adds a serendipitous six as a top-edge flies into the stands. Meanwhile, Najeeb slips while looking for a quick single. But Shirzad and McCullum cannot capitalise on the miscommunication between the batsmen. 
Nangarhar Leopards 28/0 in 4 overs
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Interestingly, Tymal Mills is taken out of the attack after bowling just one over. Kandahar skipper Asghar Afghan has quickly turned to the left-arm medium pace of Sayed Shirzad. 
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Johnson Charles using the depth of his crease to counter the left-arm orthodox spin of Amir Hamza. Rocking onto the back foot, the Caribbean enforcer hammers two boundaries.
Nangarhar Leopards 21/0 in 3 overs
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Taking a cue from the opposition bowlers, Tymal Mills is interspersing deceptive slower deliveries in between his naturally quicker ones. The England pacer begins promisingly by conceding just four runs from his opening over.
Nangarhar Leopards 11/0 in 2 overs
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Even McCullum's acrobatics at the boundary rope cannot prevent Najeeb Tarakai from smashing the first six of Nangarhar's innings.

Nangarhar Leopards 7/0 at the end of the first over
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On a pitch getting increasingly sluggish with each over, Cutting hit the perfect lengths to trouble the Kandahar batsmen. All five of his wickets came in the form of outfield catches. The Knights struggled to pick the seamer's subtle variations in pace and length. Can Nangarhar chase down the target of 140? 
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Cutting finishes with career-best bowling figures of 5/28. The last over of the innings yields just five runs. What a performance from the Australian all-rounder! 
Kandahar Knights end their innings at 139/9
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After dismissing Amir Hamza in the last ball of his previous over, the right-arm seamer returns to remove the dangerous Karim Janat and then sends Tymal Mills packing in the first two balls of his final over. 
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Ben Cutting picks up a hat-trick
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McClenaghan follows up a boundary off the first ball by parting with a string of restrictive singles. Eight runs off the penultimate over. 
Kandahar Knights are 134/7 in 19 overs
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Naveen-ul-Haq turning out to be a real thorn in Kandahar's flesh. The canny medium pacer is repeatedly flummoxing the batsmen by unleashing variations of his slower delivery. Just two singles from the 18th over.

Kandahar Knights are 126/7 in 18 overs
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Can Karim Janat take the Knights past the 150-run mark?
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Just when it appeared like they were heading towards a strong finish, Kandahar are losing their momentum. Cutting strikes twice in the same over. Amir Hamza is caught at cover. 
Kandahar Knights are 124/7 in 17 overs
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A promising partnership is cut short by Cutting. Anton Devcich takes a spectacular catch along the boundary. Realising his close proximity to the rope, the Kiwi throws the ball up before jumping back in and sealing the catch. Najibullah goes for a well-made 12-ball 17. 
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Mujeeb could have had his second wicket. But Naveen-ul-Haq puts down an easy catch near the boundary. As if to rub salt into the spinner's wounds, Karim Janat smacks a juicy delivery into the stands.
Kandahar Knights are 121/5 in 16 overs
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The action is heating up at Sharjah as the umpires get together to check a bump ball. Zahir seemed quite convinced. But Najibullah's reverse sweep hit the ground hard before lobbing up towards backward point. As many as three boundaries from the chinaman's over.
Kandahar Knights are 112/5 in 15 overs
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Zahir Khan replaces Mujeeb at the other end. Cutting looking to keep the batsmen guessing by frequently rotating his bowlers.