Skipper Asghar Afghan kept the innings going with a 32-ball 52
Skipper Asghar Afghan kept the innings going with a 32-ball 52

Kabul Zwanan, led by Laurie Evans’ 29-ball 57, picked up their third win of the campaign and maintained their top spot in the points tally with a tense two-run win over Kandahar Knights in match eight of the Afghanistan Premier League (APL) at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday.

After being put in to bat, Zwanan were in a spot of bother at 31/2 losing last match centurion Hazratullah Zazai (11) and Colin Ingram (4) early. Opener Luke Ronchi (25) and Javed Ahmadi (39) steadied the innings, before Evans took center stage hitting five sixes and two fours during his knock.

Shahidullah contributed with 33 off 21 balls as Zwanan posted 173/6 in their 20 overs.

For the Knights, left arm pacer Sayed Shirzad claimed 3 for 36 while Karim Janat picked 2 for 45.

In reply, Knights too had a poor start losing Karim Sadiq (6) and Paul Stirling (0) early. Shahidullah removed Brendon McCullum for 13 followed by the wicket of Karim Janat (2) taken by Fitratullah Khawari.

Skipper Asghar Afghan kept the innings going with a 32-ball 52 before Muslim Musa struck twice in a space of eight runs removing Afghan and Afghanistan international Najibullah Zadran for 8. Knights were left reeling at 94 for 6.

But, they had a late revival with and Nasir Jamal (38) and Riki Wessels (46*) putting on 60 run for the seventh wicket to take Knights closer to Zwanan’s target. With 15 runs need off the final over, Wessel got himself a four and a six, but played out two dots deliveries from Mohammad Naveed as Knights finished at 171/7, three runs shy of the target.

Shahidullah claimed 2 for 18 in his four overs while Wayne Parnell and Muslim Musa also struck twice.

Brief Scores: Kabul Zwanan 173/6 (Laurie Evans 57*, Shahidullah 33; Sayed Shirzad 3/36) beat Kandahar Knight 171/7 (Asghar Afghan 52, Riki Wessels 46*; Shahidullah 2/28) by two runs.