Ashraf’s Tight Spell Keeps Nangarhar in Check in a Low-Scoring Match
3 wickets in an over from Man-of-The-Match Mirwais Ashraf took Nangarhar off the track as Balkh Legends managed an easy 25 run win in a low scoring affair. With 52 left to go and 7 wickets in hand, it was Nangarhar’s game to lose and they did just that, losing their last 7 wickets for 25 runs. And when Mirwais accounted for 3 in one over it was all, but over for the Leopards.
In-form Anton Devcich kept one end with some sensible batting and kept Nangarhar in the chase, but as soon as he departed as the first victim of Mirwais in 17th over, Balkh increased the pressure on the opponents and took the last 4 wickets for just 5 more runs to skittle them out for 118. Aftab Alam, Gulbadin Naib and Ravi Bopara supported Mirwais well, keeping the stuff tight and picking up 5 wickets between them.
With the rate mounting in the slog overs, Devcich managed to clear the boundary but was dismissed by Miwais Ashraf for 48. A couple of deliveries later, Cutting smashed one straight to long-off, leaving the Nangarhar Leopards struggling, needing 31 off 15 balls and with only three wickets in hand. McClenaghan was then bowled off the next ball, attempting a big shot. The star icon Chris Gayle failed to make an impression, scoring a slow 20 off 24 deliveries. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, putting the horrors of the last game behind, bowled some tight stuff, conceding only 19 runs in 4 overs with 2 wickets to his name. Mirwais had turned the game in the space of four balls. His final analysis read four for 19 but the game-changing 18th over was the one that sealed the deal for the Balkh Legends, leaving the Nangarhar Leopards to rue a missed opportunity.
Brief scores: Balkh Legends 143 for 7 in 20 overs (Colin Munro 33, Ryan ten Doeschate 35; Mitchell McClenaghan 2 for 36, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman 2 for 19) beat Nangarhar Leopards 188 all out in 19.1 overs (Anton Devcich 48, Hashmatullah Shahidi 23; Mirwais Ashraf 4 for 19) by 25 runs.