Balkh Legends claim first APL trophy
The Balkh Legends dismissed the Kabul Zwanan in the final match of the Afghanistan Premier League (Gulbahar T20 League) to clinch the inaugural APL 2018 trophy.
At the Sharjah International Cricket Stadium on Sunday night, the Kabul Zwanan won the toss and elected to bat first against the Legends.
Therefore they set a paltry 133 losing nine wickets in the allotted 20 overs. Teenager Qais Ahmad took a career-best five for 18 to lead the Balkh Legends to register the four-wicket win over Kabul Zwanan. The 18-year old Qais Ahmad rocked the Zwanan’ batting lineup. Ahmad’s wickets included Parnell, Ahmadi, Laurie Evans and Zwanan captain Rashid Khan.
Javed Ahmadi topscored with 32 off 19 deliveries for the Zwanan, while Colin Ingram and Wayne Parnell scored 21 respectively as their team managed to cross hundred runs mark in their stipulated overs.
Chasing 133 for victory at a run rate of less than seven runs per over, the Balkh Legends’ innings was dominated by Chris Gayle’s 75th career T20 half-century despite Wayne Parnell’s early bravery who picked up a pair of wickets in the very first over of the innings.
Gayle was eventually dismissed by Rashid Khan in his third over after Jamaican had scored 56 in his 34-ball stay.
On the end, Ravi Bopara scored an unbeaten 32 as his team reached the target with eleven balls to spare.
Kabul Zwanan 132 for 9 in 20 overs (Wayne Parnell 21, Colin Ingram 21, Javed Ahmadi 32; Qais Ahmad 5 for 18)
Balkh Legends 138 for 6 in 18.1 overs (Chris Gayle 56, Ravi Bopara 32 not out; Wayne Parnell 3 for 35).
Watch Gayle’s innings here-
Man of the Match: Qais Ahmad of Balkh Legends.