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Afghanistan Premier League 2018, Match 7- Balkh Legends vs Paktia Panthers Live Score, Commentary and Updates

Paktia Panthers score 204/4 from their 20 overs. Balkh Legends fall short by 37 runs in the end.
Updated: 11 October 2018 00:56 IST - Published: 10 October 2018 13:01 IST
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Thanks for joining us! Hope you enjoyed all the action from Sharjah. Do tune into Sportskeeda tomorrow for a double-header in the APL. Kabul Zwanan take on Kandahar Knights from 17:30 IST. Then, Balkh Legends square off against Nangarhar Leopards from 21:30 IST. 
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Chris Gayle showed signs of spark in his APL debut. But his dismissal brought about a top-order collapse which eventually cost Balkh Legends. Skipper Mohammad Nabi tried to mount a fightback towards the latter half of the run-chase. However, he was left with a mountain to climb and Paktia Panthers found a way past him to get stuck into the lower-order. 
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Paktia Panthers win by 37 runs

It's all over! Isuru Udana mops up the tail with a couple of quick wickets. The left-arm seamer finishes with a four-wicket haul as Balkh are routed for 167 on a batting-friendly surface at Sharjah. 
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Zia-ur-Rehman Sharifi gets Qais Ahmad. Not enough power behind the heave and Afridi snaffles an easy catch at long-on. The writing is on the wall for Balkh. 

Balkh Legends 158/8 in 18 overs
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Balkh Legends need 60 runs from the last four overs. With all specialist batsmen back in the dressing room, the road ahead seems a bleak one. Paktia Panthers right on top at Sharjah. 
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Mohammad Nabi falls! Perhaps Balkh's hopes are also gone along with their captain. Miscues a fuller delivery from Zia-ur-Rehman and Sikandar Raza pulls off a stunning catch at long-off.

Balkh Legends 145/7 in 16 overs
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Gulbadin Naib departs and Balkh sink deeper into strife. Top-notch over from Udana. Four dot balls, a boundary followed by a straightforward caught and bowled.

Balkh Legends 138/6 in 15 overs
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Nabi in full flow! The skipper smashes two sixes and a boundary to keep his team in the contest. Yamin Ahmadzai's return proves to be a costly one. 

Balkh Legends 134/5 in 14 overs
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Shahid Afridi finishes his spell. The experienced wrist-spinner has conceded only 29 runs from his full quota of 4 overs. He reaps the rewards for adhering to the basics. Balkh's batsmen have struggled to tackle his relentless accuracy. 

Balkh Legends 114/5 in 13 overs
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Bopara's run-out! Catastrophic miscommunication in the middle. The England stalwart sets off on a quick single before hesitating midway. By the time he tries to get to the other end, Afridi's throw had arrived and Sharafuddin completes the run-out.


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Afridi squeezes through another over. The seasoned Pakistani leg-spinner has played a lot at Sharjah and knows what lengths to hit on these pitches. Just five singles off him. 

Balkh Legends 92/4 in 11 overs
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Colin Munro holes out to long-on! Balkh land themselves in further trouble. Stump-to-stump stuff from Sharafuddin Ashraf. The explosive New Zealand southpaw departs to a lapse in judgment. 

Balkh Legends 87/4 in 10 overs
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Just six runs from Afridi's second over. Paktia Panthers are applying persistent pressure on the batsmen. Classic strangle through economical spin. 

Balkh Legends 77/3 in 9 overs
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Munro late cuts Afridi to close the over with a boundary. The veteran leg-spinner is not happy with the fielding effort from the short third man.

Balkh Legends 64/3 in 7 overs
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Shahid Afridi into the attack
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Paktia Panthers have roared back to end the Power Play on a high. Just three runs from Yamin Ahmadzai's over. Balkh are beginning to feel the pressure of losing three quick wickets. 

Balkh Legends 56/3 in 6 overs
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Balkh lose another wicket! Ryan ten Doeschate offers catching practice to Udana at mid-off. Sharifi gets his first wicket.  


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Munro hits top gear with an effortless six over the long-on boundary. Yamin Ahmadzai serves up a juicy half-volley in middle and leg. The Kiwi takes advantage.

Balkh Legends 47/2 in 4 overs
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Colin Munro and Ryan ten Doeschate have a stiff task on their hands. Can they help Balkh Legends recover from the loss of both openers?
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Usman Ghani falls! The opener tries to aerially flick a delivery coming into him and somehow manages to find the only fielder stationed outside the circle in the leg-side. Brilliant catch from Ihsanullah Janat. 
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Isuru Udana castles Gayle! Nails the yorker to help Paktia Panthers see the back of the dangerous left-hander. The Jamaican showman has to depart for a 10-ball 20. 

Balkh Legends 38/1 in 3 overs
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Consecutive Sixes for Chris Gayle! The Universe Boss is up and running. Udana is getting hammered for veering into the Jamaican's hitting arc. 


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As always, Gayle is a bit slow off the blocks. Meanwhile, Ghani gets into rhythm with a majestic pick-up shot. The sheer timing takes the ball over the boundary. 

Balkh Legends 22/0 in 2 overs
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Nine runs from the opening over from Udana. The Sri Lankan seamer looks to angle the ball away from a shorter length. But the right-left combination is not helping his cause. 

Balkh Legends 9/0 in 1 over
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All eyes will be on Gayle. Can the Caribbean juggernaut wind back the clock with another explosive knock? The stage is set for him. Massive total to pursue. 

Isuru Udana to begin the proceedings with the ball. 
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Chris Gayle and Usman Ghani are ready for the run-chase
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Mohammad Shahzad and Ihsanullah Janat set the tone with some scintillating hitting at the top of the order. Shrugging off a relatively sedate start, Cameron Delport controls the latter part of the innings by registering an unbeaten 48-ball 70. None of the Balkh bowlers went at an economy-rate of less than eight. Can their batsmen perform better? Stay tuned for the run-chase. 
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Paktia Panthers finish with 204/4 from 20 overs 

Delport plunders two sixes off Naib's final over to take the total past the 200-run mark. 
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Aftab Alam finishes his spell by conceding just 8 runs in the penultimate over of the innings. His figures may read 4-0-42-0. Another case of numbers not revealing the full picture. He has been the best seamer on show from Balkh. 

Paktia Panthers 189/3 in 19 overs
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Fifty for Delport! Hammers two sixes off Mirwais Ashraf to get to the landmark. The seamer errs slightly while trying to find the block hole and does not escape punishment.   

Paktia Panthers 181/3 in 18 overs
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Splendid over from Aftab Alam. Concedes only seven runs from the seventeenth over. This could go a long way in halting Paktia's surge. 

Paktia Panthers 164/3 in 17 overs
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Paktia lose their third! Delport sets off on a non-existent single and Shenwari ends up paying the price. Swift throw from Nabi and the wicket-keeper does the rest. 

Paktia Panthers 157/3 in 16 overs
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With eight wickets in hand, can Paktia go past 200? The last five overs could see a shift in gear. 
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Two sixes from the over! Gulbadin Naib's having a forgettable game this time around. Delport and Shenwari dispatch his archetypal slower one for a maximum each.

Paktia Panthers 144/2 in 15 overs
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Shenwari goes down on one knee and smashes Qais Ahmad into the long-off stands. He seems to be operating on two modes today - dot or maximum. 

Paktia Panthers 130/2 in 14 overs
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Samiullah Shenwari reiterates Paktia's position of strength by launching Mirwais Ashraf for a towering six. The Panthers needed this to release the pressure. 
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Qais Ahmad is in the middle of a brilliant spell. Just four runs from his third over. On another day, the leg-spinner could have easily ended up with a couple of wickets. Thus far, he hasn't got any. 

Paktia Panthers 109/2 in 12 overs
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Mirwais Ashraf gets Ihsanullah! The well-set opener does not manage to get underneath a fuller and slower one from the experienced seamer. Ravi Bopara takes a straightforward catch to send Janat on his way for 47. 

Paktia Panthers 105/2 in 11 overs
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Gulbadin Naib spoils a tight over by delivering a loose full toss off the final ball. Ihsanullah accepts the invitation and dispatches the ball over the long-off roof. 

Paktia Panthers 101/1 in 10 overs
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Delport is dropped! The attempted slog goes awry and the ball goes high into the glittering sky. Unfortunately for Balkh, neither long-on nor deep mid-wicket manage to settle underneath the chance. No reward for Qais Ahmad despite some brilliant bowling. 
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Ihsanullah converts a potentially tidy over into a productive one for the Panthers. Nabi veers into the right-hander's hitting arc and sees the ball disappear out of the stadium. 

Paktia Panthers 79/1 in 8 overs
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Captain Nabi brings himself back into the attack. 
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A reasonable start for Qais Ahmad. The leg-spinner's first over produces just 8 runs. Cameron Delport has joined Ihsanullah Janat at the crease as Paktia look to rebuild after the loss of their skipper. 

Paktia Panthers 68/1 in 7 overs
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Shahzad's gone! Gulbadin Naib, Balkh's hero against Kandahar, does the trick for his team once again. Unfurls a slower ball and induces a tame chip from Shahzad. Paktia's skipper has to depart for a 21-ball 42.   

Paktia Panthers 60/1 in 6 overs
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12 runs from the fifth over. Shahzad keeps going from strength to strength. The seamers are feeding him with short stuff and he is duly capitalising. A six and a boundary off Mirwais Ashraf's opening over. 

Paktia Panthers 52/0 in 5 overs
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Shahzad smacks a short ball from Aftab to plunder his third six of the innings. Two boundaries as well from the seamer's over. Paktia off to a splendid start. 

Paktia Panthers 40/0 in 4 overs
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Nabi getting tremendous drift with the new ball. Pitches outside off-stump, looks like coming into the batsman before drifting away to create a doosra-like illusion.
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Shahzad latches on to a well-flighted delivery from Nabi and sends it sailing high into the night sky. He's dealing in sixes here. 

Paktia Panthers 25/0 in 3 overs
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Shahzad wallops a short ball from Aftab Alam way over deep square leg's head. This majestic six should help him get into the groove. 

Paktia Panthers 17/0 in 2 overs
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Ihsanullah Janat sets the ball rolling with a delectable back-foot cover drive. Tidy start from Nabi. Just five runs from the opening over. 

Paktia Panthers 5/0 in 1 over