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Afghanistan Premier League 2018, Match 5 - Balkh Legends vs Kandahar Knights Live Score, Commentary and Updates

Hello and welcome to Sportskeeda's live coverage of the fifth match of the APL 2018.
Updated: 08 October 2018 00:54 IST - Published: 07 October 2018 19:58 IST
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Thanks for joining us. Hope you enjoyed the action from Sharjah. Do tune in on Tuesday for the next APL match between Kabul Zwanan and Nangarhar Leopards. Until then, it's goodbye. 
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Paul Stirling and Brendon McCullum gave a blazing start to the run-chase. But then Gulbadin Naib's double blow turned the game on its head. Although Asghar Afghan fought valiantly, he got out at the wrong time. Fittingly, it was Naib who dismissed Kevin O'Brien to pierce the final nail in the coffin. His stunning spell has proved to be the difference between the two teams. 
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Balkh Legends win by 13 runs. With two wins from as many matches, they now reinforce their position at the top of the APL points table. 

Kandahar Knights finish with 152/7 from 20 overs
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A couple of boundaries off Aftab Alam's final over. Probably, too little and too late. Kandahar need 31 runs from the last over of the game. 

Kandahar Knights 135/7 in 19 overs
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What a spell from Gulbadin Naib! 4 wickets for 12 runs from 4 overs. His slower delivery has been extremely lethal on this sluggish track. 
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Balkh Legends have got this in the bag! Kandahar require an improbable 43 runs from 12 balls. 

Kandahar Knights 123/7 in 18 overs
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Kevin O'Brien departs! Without picking the slower one, he tries to mow down the ground. Instead, the woodwork is rattled. Gulbadin Naib continues to outclass the big names with his clever change of pace. 
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Kevin O'Brien has a tough task on his hands. While the Irishman is still in action, Kandahar will keep believing. They need 47 runs from the last three overs. 

Kandahar Knights 119/6 in 17 overs
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Is that the game? Attempting an almighty heave, Asghar Afghan can only manage an inside-edge which cannons on to his stumps. The skipper has to walk back for a 32-ball 45. Aftab Alam's slippery medium pace procures a crucial breakthrough for Balkh Legends.

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Qais Ahmad takes a stunning catch! These are the sort of fielding efforts that turn cricket matches. Laughlin's short ball is pulled forcefully by Najibullah Zadran. Qais dives low and closes his hands on the ball while running from deep square leg. A fielder's wicket if ever there's one. 

Kandahar Knights 115/5 in 16 overs
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Kandahar need 54 runs from the last five overs. Balkh have to remove the well-set Asghar Afghan if they are to breathe easier. 
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Asghar keeps Kandahar ticking. Hammers a short ball from Bopara for a much needed six. This will relieve the pressure on his team. 

Kandahar Knights 112/4 in 15 overs
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Mohammad Nabi brings himself back into the attack and makes an impact straight away. The wily off-spinner traps Karim Janat in front. A laborious 14-ball 8 comes to an end with an ill-judged reverse-sweep.  
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Laughlin not having a good time with the ball. His second over goes for ten runs as Asghar goes down on one knee and deposits him in the stands. 
 
Kandahar Knights 99/3 in 13 overs
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Aside from a loose ball which is duly dispatched to the boundary by Asghar, Bopara slips in a rather tidy over. 

Kandahar Knights 80/3 in 11 overs
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Time for Ravi Bopara to unleash his dibbly-dobbly stuff. Can he chip in with a few quiet overs?
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McCullum falls! Gulbadin Naib gets his third wicket and this could well be the most important of them all. The seasoned right-hander tries to loft a slower delivery but the ball balloons up in the air only for Darwish Rasooli to complete a safe catch. 

Kandahar Knights 68/3 in 9 overs
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Asghar Afghan breaks the shackles by charging down the track and hitting Qais over the top. Impressive use of the feet against a leg-spinner. 

Kandahar Knights 64/2 in 8 overs
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Leg-spinner Qais Ahmad is introduced into the equation. 
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McCullum rounds off the Power Play with a boundary and then a colossal six off Ben Laughlin. If the Kiwi stays at the crease for the next few overs, Balkh could be in serious trouble. 

Kandahar Knights 53/2 in 6 overs
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Naib does not get the hat-trick. But his timely double-strike has certainly brought Balkh Legends back into the contest. 

Kandahar Knights 39/2 in 5 overs
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Naib traps Karim Sadiq in front for a first-ball duck. The right-arm seamer is on a hat-trick. Can he become the second bowler in APL to get three in three after Ben Cutting?
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Gulbadin Naib outsmarts Stirling. A slower length ball and the opener hacks through the line without making the necessary adjustment. Balkh have their first breakthrough.  
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Paul Stirling picks Aftab Alam's slower one and dispatches it into the long-on stands for a massive six. Excellent shot from the Irishman.
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Only three singles from Nabi's second over. Unlike his opening over, the off-spinner opts for a flatter trajectory this time around and reaps the reward.

Kandahar Knights 23/0 in 3 overs
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