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APL 2018 1st Semi-Final: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Match Prediction

APL 2018 1st Semi-Final: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Match Prediction. Group winners Balkh Legends will hope to book their place in the first Afghanistan Premier League final when they take on fourth-placed Nangarhar Leopards in the first play-off at Sharjah. The match is scheduled for October 19 and the live action begins at 20:00 local time.

APL 2018 1st Semi-Final: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Match Prediction

Betting Tips

  • Balkh Legends topped the league stage of the inaugural Afghanistan Premier League, winning six of their eight matches.
  • Nangarhar Leopards were one of the two teams to beat them, however – winning by six wickets in what was the Leopards’ final group game.
  • Balkh bounced back to win their own final match, however, with Chris Gayle smashing five fours and eight sixes in his 22-ball 73 at the top of the order in a six-wicket defeat of bottom-team Kandahar Knights.

Our Pick: Balkh Legends are favorites to win

Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards: Where to watch/Live streaming

TV channels: Ariana Television Network, Dsport, FreeSports, WillowTV, SKY Sport NZ, SuperSport, Ten Sports, Channel 9

Live streaming: Dsport, Willow TV Online, OSN Play, Sky Go, SuperSport Live

APL 2018 1st Semi-Final: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Match Prediction

Toss Prediction

The final week has generally seen the team fielding first going on to win – a change from earlier in the tournament.

APL 2018 1st Semi-Final: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Match Prediction

APL 2018 1st Semi-Final: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Match Prediction

Balkh Legends Team News & Playing 11

BL Team News

Balkh Legends were back to almost full strength for their final group game, with the one exception being Samiullah handed a first start as Gulbadin Naib was rested. Chris Gayle returned at the expense of Sri Lankan opener Dilshan Munaweera and promptly smashed the Kandahar Knights bowlers to all parts.

BL Key Players

Chris Gayle’s APL form has got better and better since he arrived in Sharjah, and his last two innings have been the West Indian icon at his big-hitting best. He hit a 48-ball 80 in the win against Kabul Zwanan and, after being rested for the last game against Nangarhar Leopards, hit 73 from 22 balls last time out to continue his own fine form.

Previously, Ryan ten Doeschate had bee the team’s main man with the bat. The Dutchman scored a patient 27 not out last time, whole his two innings against Nangarhar Leopards have resulted in scores of 23 and 35. He has also twice been left unbeaten in the 70s in wins against Paktia Panthers and Kabul Zwanan.

With the ball, Gulbadin Naib has taken 12 wickets in the tournament, including a stunning 4-12 in the win against Kandahar Knights early in the group stage. He also took 2-10 in the first of the two matches agains Nangarhar Leopards.

BL Team Form

Balkh Legends won six of their eight games in the league stage to finish top, with only Paktia Panthers and Nangarhar Leopards beating them. The Nangarhar defeat was with players rested too – Chris Gayle among those not featuring, having just helped them to the tournament’s highest score so far (244/6) with a 48-ball 80 in that innings against Kabul Zwanan. In reply, Kabul reached 223/7.

Defeat to Nangarhar Leopards followed, with Balkh Legends limping to 133/7 before the Leopards chased it down with six wickets and two overs to spare – despite Qais Ahmad taking 3/19.

They bounced back from that defeat last time out, however. Mirwais Ashraf set the tone with 3/24 from his four overs to restrict Kandahar Knights to 141/9. In reply, Chris Gayle kicked off the innings with 73 from 22 balls and the Legends were always above the run rate from there on, winning by six wickets with 2.1 overs to spare.

Balkh Legends Predicted Playing 11

  • Chris Gayle, Colin Munro, Darwish Rasooli, Ryan ten Doeschate, Ravi Bopara, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Ali Khil, Gulbadin Naib, Qais Ahmad, Mirwais Ashraf, Aftab Alam

Nangarhar Leopards Team News & Playing 11

NL Team News

Nangarhar Leopards have got some big selection decisions to make, after Sandeep Lamichhane and Andre Fletcher both arrived late to make their first appearances in the APL. Lamichhane claimed two wickets against Paktia Panthers, while Fletcher replaced him last time out against Balkh Legends and scored 48 from 22 balls.

Johnson Charles could miss out on the semi-finals if Nangarhar choose to turn to Nepalese spinner Lamichhane, while Mitchell McClenaghan is waiting in the wings if the Leopards’ opt to restore their fast bowler.

NL Key Players

Anton Devcich hit a purple patch in the middle of the group stage, scoring 94 not out and 77 in two separate innings against Kabul Zwanan, either side of his 48 against Balkh Legends.

Andre Fletcher’s 48 from 22 balls last time out – on his first appearance of the tournament (against Balkh Legends) – eased some pressure on the New Zealander. Hashmatullah Shahidi’s 31 not out was another decent knock, meanwhile – the Afghan middle-order batsman has accumulated runs quietly. His eight innings are 26*, 49*, 15, 23, 29*, 23, 4 and 31*.

With the ball, Mujeeb Ur Rahman has taken 12 wickets so far, while fellow spinner Zahir Khan is on nine. It is testament to their form that Nepalese spinner Sandeep Lamichhane is not guaranteed a place in the team for this semi-final. Ben Cutting is on ten wickets, meanwhile, though eight of those did arrive in the first two matches.

APL 2018 1st Semi-Final: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Match Prediction

NL Team Form

Nangarhar Leopards won three of their group games, with wins in their first and last matches but only one in between. Their batting fell short as they were bowled out for 110 against Kandahar Knights and then 126 against Paktia Panthers. They sealed a play-off berth in their final match, however – beating Balkh Legends.

Naveen-ul Haq, Fazal Niazai and Zahir Khan all took two wickets apiece as Balkh Legends were restricted to 133/7 and, in response, Andre Fletcher smashed 43 from 22 balls before an unbroken 51-run partnership between Hashmatullah Shahidi and Shafiqullah led the Leopards o victory.

Nangarhar Leopards Predicted Playing 11

  • Anton Devcich, Andre Fletcher, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Shafiqullah, Ben Cutting, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sandeep Lamichhane, Zahir Khan, Fazal Ziazai

APL 2018 1st Semi-Final: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Match Prediction

Team Form in Last Five Matches (most recent first)

BL : W L W W W

NL : W L L W L

Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Betting Odds

After topping the league table, Balkh Legends are now 1.66 to beat Nangarhar Leopards with Bet365, whereas the Leopards are priced at 2.20.

Chris Gayle has found his stride, and the West Indian is 3.50 to be Balkh Legends top scorer for the third time in his last three matches.

Compatriot Andre Fletcher (4.50) top-scored for Nangahar Leopards last time out, but Anton Devcich is clearly their form man in the tournament and he can be backed at 4.00.

APL 2018 1st Semi-Final: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Match Prediction

APL 2018 1st Semi-Final: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Match Prediction

Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Prediction

Balkh Legends might have lost to Nangahar Leopards last time out but. Balkh are favourites and should win to book their place in the final.

Final Verdict: Back Balkh Legends to beat Nangarhar Leopards at 1.66 with Bet365.

APL 2018 1st Semi-Final: Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards Match Prediction

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