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Afghanistan Premier League 2018, Match 3 - Balkh Legends vs Kabul Zwanan Live Score, Commentary and Updates

Hello and welcome to Sportskeeda's live coverage of the third match of APL 2018.
Updated: 07 October 2018 01:06 IST - Published: 06 October 2018 18:12 IST
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Thanks for joining us in an action-packed day at the inaugural season of the Afghanistan Premier League. Do join us on Sunday for another double-header as Nangarhar Leopards take on Paktia Panthers and Balkh Legends square off against Kandahar Knights. 
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After setting the base by forming a patient partnership with opener Usman Ghani, Ryan ten Doeschate found another ally in Ravi Bopara. The Essex duo clinch a clinical victory for Balkh Legends by putting on an unbeaten 89-run stand. 

The highlight of ten Doeschate's match-winning 46-ball 78 was his exemplary footwork against the various spinners. Although he scored a fluent 56 and registered bowling figures of 1/24, Rashid Khan could not quite haul Kabul over the line. 
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Bopara hits the winning runs. An imposing stroke through extra cover finds the boundary.

Balkh Legends win by eight wickets and seven balls to spare 
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Bopara flicks another switch! Deciding to attack the inexperienced Muslim Musa, the 33-year old sandwiches a mammoth six between three boundaries. Could well be the deciding over of the game. 21 runs from it. 

Balkh Legends 168/2 in 18 overs
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Despite bowling from over the wicket, the left-arm seamer strays into the pads and pays the price by conceding a boundary. Kabul needed a better over from Parnell. 

Balkh Legends 147/2 in 17 overs
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Balkh Legends need 38 runs from the last four overs. Wayne Parnell returns for his second spell. Can he remove the well-set ten Doeschate?
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Ravi Bopara cracks a boundary off the back foot. Not easy to do against a quicker leg-spinner like Rashid. The top-ranked T20I bowler finishes his quota for 1/24. 

Balkh Legends 139/2 in 16 overs
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Last over for Rashid. Clearly, all Balkh have to do is to play him out. 
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Shot from ten Doeschate! The veteran is putting on an exhibition of astounding stroke-play. Getting underneath an overpitched delivery, he carves the ball over the deep point fence. The 38-year old proceeds to end the over with another maximum. He is in the zone tonight!

Balkh Legends 131/2 in 15 overs
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Rashid deceives the advancing ten Doeschate with a cleverly-disguised googly. But wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi fails to pick the variation and misses a possible stumping. Massive moment in what is nicely shaping up to be a thrilling encounter.

Balkh Legends 116/2 in 14 overs
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A key over in the game as Rashid Khan returns to the equation. 
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Ryan ten Doeschate brings up a well-compiled fifty from 29 balls. His towering six off Shahidullah lands on the roof and leaves the umpires with the task of selecting a new ball.

Balkh Legends 110/2 in 13 overs
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Ravi Bopara joins ten Doeschate at the crease. Can the seasoned Essex pairing bring glory to Balkh Legends?
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Muslim Musa's medium pace does the trick for Kabul. Not giving any pace for the batsmen to work with, he induces a loose shot from Usman Ghani and breaks the blossoming partnership. 
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Commentator Brian Murgatroyd reckons dew could play a significant factor during the death overs. 
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Shahidullah slips in another quiet over. The required run-rate goes past ten. 

Balkh Legends 86/1 in 11 overs
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At the halfway mark, Balkh Legends require 97 more runs. They have plenty of firepower left in their batting arsenal. 
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Kabul turn towards seam after five overs of spin. Recognising the importance of taking the pace off, Muslim Musa concedes just six runs. 

Balkh Legends 80/1 in 10 overs
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Rashid brings himself back on. Both batsmen are expectedly content with manoeuvring the strike against the lethal leg-spinner. Five singles from the over. Balkh batting to a plan at the moment. They are keen on targeting the other spinners on offer. 

Balkh Legends 74/1 in 9 overs
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Ghani and ten Doeschate hammer a six each off Zahir Shehzad. The required run-rate is now dragged down to nine. 

Balkh Legends 69/1 in 8 overs
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Surprisingly, Rashid takes himself out of the attack and brings in Shahidullah instead.  
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Spin from both ends as Zahir Shehzad is introduced into the attack. Not a great start for the left-arm spinner as he concedes ten runs from his first over. A concerted effort from ten Doeschate to take the attack to him. 

Balkh Legends 45/1 in 6 overs
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Ryan ten Doeschate arrives into the crease. The manner in which he handles the Rashid threat could end up deciding the outcome of this game. The game-changing wrist-spinner is up and running. What has he got in store for us today?

Balkh Legends 35/1 in 5 overs
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Rashid Khan brings himself into the attack and picks a wicket off his very first ball. Colin Munro has no clue whatsoever. The explosive southpaw is bowled neck and crop. What a start for the enchanting leg-spinner!
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Parnell continues to veer into the right-hander's pads. Ghani puts away a couple of easy boundary-scoring opportunities. A poor opening spell from the left-armer. 

Balkh Legends 21/0 in 3 overs
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Parnell and Rashid involved in a long conversation. Seems as if the South African pacer wants protection on the shorter leg-side boundary. 
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Fareed Ahmad eases into the contest with a probing over. Generating reasonable pace, the left-arm seamer is hitting the deck hard from a bustling action.  

Balkh Legends 13/0 in 2 overs
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Usman Ghani gets going with a classy flick. An eventful over from Parnell. A couple of good deliveries mixed with a few wayward ones. 

Balkh Legends are 10/0 at the end of the first over
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Colin Munro and Usman Ghani are ready for the run-chase. An inauspicious start for Wayne Parnell as Colin Ingram drops a sitter at first slip. Munro gets a life during the second ball of the innings! Will this turn out to be a costly miss for Kabul?
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You would think Kabul have got enough on the board. While the pitch is indeed sluggish in nature, the late onset of dew could make matters tricky for the bowlers during the closing stages. Balkh Legends need Colin Munro to fire if they are to take the fight to Rashid and company. Stay tuned for the run-chase. 
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A terrific final over from Aftab helps Balkh limit the damage to a certain extent. Just six runs from the last over. Rashid remains unbeaten on 56 from 27.

Kabul Zwanan finish on 176/6
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The partnership is finally broken. Aftab Alam castles Evans with a slower one. But not before the 30-year old has belted 64 runs from 47 balls. 
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From nowhere, Kabul have hit overdrive at Sharjah. Rashid brings up his fifty off just 23 balls. The last twelve balls have produced a whopping 52 runs - 6 4 1 1 6 6 6 4 6 6 6 0
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Rashid on fire! The pressure has been reverted spectacularly on Balkh Legends. The hard-hitter hammers four sixes and a boundary off Ravi Bopara. 

Kabul Zwanan 170/5 in 19 overs
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Meanwhile, Evans breaks the shackles too. He follows up a searing six with a stunning bottom-handed drive through the off-side. Brings up his second fifty in as many innings. The Englishman celebrates the landmark by bludgeoning back to back sixes in the last two balls. Tremendous hitting at the right time. 

Kabul Zwanan 142/5 in 18 overs
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Impressive batting from Rashid. Reminiscent of yesteryear Asian greats, he flicks his wrist perfectly and carves a fuller delivery to the cover boundary. Forcing Aftab Alam to shorten his length, he then pounces on the width on offer and smashes a six over the same region. 
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Nabi completes a splendid spell of 2/20 from his quota of four overs. On a conducive track, he has well and truly led from the front. 
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A confident appeal for caught behind from wicket-keeper Ikram Ali Khil and Nabi. But the umpire is unmoved. Replays indicate that the ball brushed the wrist. A tight over from the senior off-spinner. Just five runs at this stage in the innings is gold.
 
Kabul Zwanan 103/5 in 16 overs
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Just five overs left in the innings and Kabul have not yet reached three figures. Can Rashid infuse some spark in the death overs?
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A remarkably poor delivery from Naib allows Rashid Khan to find the boundary. A feeble half-tracker way past the leg-stump and the star all-rounder duly obliges.

Kabul Zwanan 98/5 in 15 overs
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Kabul desperately need a partnership here. Captain Rashid Khan is looking to hang around for a bit before hitting top gear. Meanwhile, Evans is waging a tedious battle against the slowing surface. The 30-year old is batting on 30 from 32 balls.

Kabul Zwanan 89/5 in 14 overs
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A successful over from Nabi comes to an end. Apart from picking up a wicket, the seasoned off-spinner concedes just two runs. 

Kabul Zwanan 78/5 in 12 overs
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Upon bringing himself back into the attack, Mohammad Nabi strikes off the very first ball. Sliding across from over the wicket, he traps the left-hander Shahidullah in front. That's as plumb as it gets.


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Gulbadin Naib has procured the key wicket of Ahmadi. The well-set right-hander tamely chips a harmless delivery to extra cover. He has to depart for a 18-ball 21. Southpaw Shahidullah Kamal joins Evans in the middle. 

Kabul Zwanan 76/4 in 11 overs
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At the halfway mark, Kabul are poised solidly. With seven wickets in hand, can they capitalise on the next ten overs?
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Ravi Bopara is welcomed with a majestic six from compatriot Evans. Bereft of any sort of pace to work with, the right-hander does well to get underneath a very full delivery. 
Kabul Zwanan 70/3 in 10 overs
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Medium pacer Gulbadin Naib has begun promisingly. Just six runs from his first over.
Kabul Zwanan 61/3 in 9 overs
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Ahmadi is keen on consistently taking the aerial route. However, there is palpable clarity in his thought-process. He's picking his spots smartly. Should be an interesting partnership with Evans, if it continues for the next few overs. 

Kabul Zwanan 55/3 in 8 overs
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Buttler-esque improvisation from Laurie Evans! Goes down on one knee and scoops the ball to the boundary. 

Kabul Zwanan 47/3 in 7 overs
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Miscommunication between Laurie Evans and Javed Ahmadi! After surviving a rapid throw, Ahmadi responds by lifting Laughlin over the in-field. A delectable shot over extra cover. 
Kabul Zwanan 40/3 in 6 overs