Paktia Panthers continued their winning streak as they beat Balkh Legends by 37 runs in the ongoing Afghanistan Premier League (2018) at Sharjah.
Meanwhile, the Panthers amassed a mammoth total of 204 runs after Balkh Legends opted to field first. Skipper Mohammad Shahzad and Ihsanullah Janat provided a solid start before Cameron Delport single-handedly took the game away.
The opening duo added 59 for the first wicket before Shahzad departed after a well made 42 off just 21 balls. He smashed the new ball hard hitting five towering sixes during his short stay. However, the dismissal of Shahzad didn’t make any difference as Cameron Delport took on the job.
However, Balkh Legends kept coming back as they removed Janat (47 off 28 balls). Skipper Mohammad Nabi tried all his tricks against the Paktia Panthers, but he couldn’t find a way to contain Delport, who looked in ominous touch. Delport added 47 runs with Samiullah Shenwari and 38 runs with Rahmanullah Gurbaz to the score close to 200.
Cameron Delport (70*) ensured that they post something above 200 against the Balkh Legends.
Once Paktia Panthers got to 204 it was about getting those big wickets at the crucial moments. And skipper Shahzad deserves the credit for ringing in the right changes and ensuring they pocket a vital win.
Chris Gayle looked threatening but a full ball from Isuru Udana, who picked up a four-fer, got him. Then Colin Munro and Ravi Bopara also looked like getting in but got out before they could press on the accelerator, and the final nail in the coffin was Balkh Legends skipper Mohammad Nabi’s wicket. Nabi entertained all and sundry with a brisk 15-ball 40 before being dismissed.