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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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Aftab Alam gives away just seven runs from his opening over. Balkh Legends have opted for a combination of spin from one end and medium pace from the other. 

Kandahar Knights 20/0 in 2 overs
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BMac gets into the groove! McCullum brings out the slog-sweep and smashes Mohammad Nabi for a glorious six. 

Kandahar Knights 13/0 in 1 over
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Colin Munro laid the foundation with a scintillating 46. But Balkh appeared to be losing their way at one point in time. Eventually, Ravi Bopara batted sensibly and hauled them to a competitive total. Can Kandahar Knights hunt down 166 on a sluggish surface? Stay tuned for the run-chase. 
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Tymal Mills delivers a reasonably tight final over. Just nine runs from it. Had called for 165 around five overs back and that's exactly what Balkh end up with. 

Balkh Legends finish with 165/5 from 20 overs
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Shirzad finally gets his man. The faintest of edges and the umpire raises his finger belatedly. Bopara has to walk back for 34. 

Balkh Legends 156/5 in 19 overs
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Two drops in two balls! Bopara is the benefactor on both occasions. After being let-off by Kevin O'Brien in the deep, he is dropped next ball by wicket-keeper Sadiq. Agony for Sayed Shirzad. 
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Wicket-keeper Karim Sadiq drops a skier to reprieve Gulbadin Naib. To be honest, Kandahar have looked pretty ordinary in the field today. 

Balkh Legends 134/4 in 17 overs
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The pitch is becoming slower and lower with almost every over. Aside from really full deliveries, it is certainly not easy to get a hold of back of length balls. A total of 165 should be sufficient. Can Balkh end on a high? Gulbaddin Naib joins Ravi Bopara at the crease. 
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No, he can't. Salamkheil dismisses Nabi! A poor shot from the skipper. Danced down the track in hope rather than conviction and misses the line completely. Sadiq completes an easy stumping. 
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McCullum drops a tough chance. Runs in hard from long-on and gets near but is unable to hang on. Mohammad Nabi gets another opportunity. Can he capitalise?

Balkh Legends 119/3 in 15 overs
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Tymal Mills is brought back into the attack. Begins his second spell with another wayward delivery down the leg-side. 
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Kandahar Knights have considerably brought down the run-rate by bowling stump to stump. Sustained pressure being applied on the batsmen. How will Ravi Bopara and skipper Mohammad Nabi respond?

Balkh Legends 96/3 in 12 overs
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Amir Hamza is rewarded for tossing the ball up and enticing the batsman to take the aerial route. Ryan ten Doeschate holes out to Brendon McCullum. Has to depart for a scratchy 17-ball 13. 
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Good comeback from Waqar Salamkheil. After conceding 16 runs from his first over, he hits a better length and gives away seven runs from his next one. 

Balkh Legends 87/2 in 10 overs
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Karim Janat cuts short Munro's mayhem. The southpaw once again tries to go big but the leading edge finds Paul Stirling at backward point. A key wicket for Kandahar as the belligerent Kiwi departs for 46 from 24 balls.
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Munro is in the mood! The explosive southpaw hammers back to back sixes off Salamkheil. This dibbly-dobbly stuff does not seem to be working against such a dynamic batsman. 

Balkh Legends 74/1 in 8 overs
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A change in the bowling as Asghar brings Waqar Salamkheil into the attack. 
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Ryan ten Doeschate joins Munro in the middle. Fresh off a match-winning performance, what does the veteran right-hander have in store for us today?

Balkh Legends 58/1 in 7 overs
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Munro ends the Power Play with another risky single. A bit frenetic in the end but a direct hit could have resulted in another wicket. 

Balkh Legends 51/1 in 6 overs
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Run out! Catastrophic mix-up between Colin Munro and Usman Ghani. Balkh Legends have thrown a wicket here. Without even looking at his partner, Ghani attempts to steal a bye and pays the price. Both batsmen end up at the same end. 
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Amir Hamza Hotak begins his spell with a maiden over. The left-arm spinner gives away only a solitary bye. 

Balkh Legends 20/0 in 3 overs
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A tight over from Sadiq. Concedes just five runs. Usman Ghani looking in good touch with a couple of boundaries. 

Balkh Legends 19/0 in 2 overs
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Kandahar skipper Asghar Afghan has taken over the gloves. Wicket-keeper Karim Sadiq to bowl the second over of the match. 
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A productive opening over for Balkh Legends. A wayward Tymal Mills gives away 14 runs from it. 

Balkh Legends 14/0 in 1 over
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Balkh Legends Playing XI: Colin Munro, Usman Ghani, Ryan ten Doeschate, Ravi Bopara, Darwish Rasooli, Mohammad Nabi (c), Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Gulbadin Naib, Ben Laughlin, Qais Ahmad and Aftab Alam

Kandahar Knights Playing XI: Paul Stirling, Brendon McCullum, Karim Sadiq (wk), Asghar Afghan(c), Karim Janat, Kevin O Brien, Najibullah Zadran, Amir Hamza, Sayed Shirzad, Tymal Mills and Waqar Salamkheil
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