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Evans smashes Kabul home in APL opener – APL Match 1 Highlights

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Kabul Zwanan edged past Paktia Panthers in the opening encounter of inaugural Afghanistan Premier League by three wickets with five balls remaining, courtesy Laurie Evans’ 39-ball 79*. Paktia Panthers vs Kabul Zwanan Match 1 Highlights

After winning the toss, Kabul skipper Rashid Khan asked Paktia to bat first. Openers Mohammad Shahzad and Ihsanullah provided a blistering 101-run start before Sikandar Raza smacked 78* off 40 balls to propel the score past 200. Paktia finished with 218/4.

Paktia Panthers vs Kabul Zwanan Match 1 Highlights



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Kabul bowlers had a hard day, with only Rashid Khan returning with the reasonable figures of 0/27 in his four overs.

In reply, Kabul openers Luke Ronchi and Hazratullah Zazai made starts but couldn’t capitalize. Paktia continued to chip in with wickets but Kabul’s Sussex import Laurie Evans held the fort from one end. While the lower middle-order chipped in with cameos.

it was Evans’ 39-ball 79* that helped Kabul reach home with five balls to spare.

Sharafuddin Ashraf and Mohammad Hussain shared two-wickets each for Paktia.

Evans was adjudged man of the match for his blistering fifty.

Rashid Khan:

It’s the kind of start you need in a crucial tournament. Everyone did well. It was tough to grip the ball with dew. We bowled well and in batting, everyone was smashing. Good to see everyone on form – specially Laurie. He brought his form from County cricket. Really pleased with the performance. It was easy to hit against the spinners. I had the belief on the lower order. They contributed and Laurie won it.

Laurie Evans, Player of the Match:

I have not really played in wickets like that. It was a brilliant wicket to bat on. It was difficult for the bowlers, they struggled with the dew. We have got a lovely dressing room; really happy with the win. On good wickets, in this tournament, any score will be chasable. I just kept saying to the guys, ‘give yourself a couple of balls, get used to the wicket and just keep hitting straight’. We have got some real good players there. It’s brilliant to be here.

Mohammad Shahzad:

 I played my natural game. We lost and I am not happy. They played good cricket and they won the match. Raza is an amazing player and he has experience of playing here in Sharjah. Main problem here is dew.

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