Kandahar Knights Lose 4 on a Trot as They Fail Again in a Low-Scoring Game
Needing 128 to win after bowlers had put them on top mid-way during the match against Paktia Panthers, Kandahar lost a great opportunity to notch their first win as they fell short by 9 runs. With 14 needed off the final two overs and Karim Zanat carrying on nicely in the company of Mohammad Naveed, Kandahar would have thought of packing the game. But it wasn’t to be as Paktia held on to their nerves and came out on top.
It was Sri Lankan Isuru Udana’s magic removing the Kandahar top-order that made the task look more than tough it was before. He picked the first 3 wickets of the opposition following his classy quickfire with the bat and signed off giving away only 19 in 4 overs. Ashraf also chipped in with 3 wickets and their efforts were backed well by Shahid Afridi’s miserly spell in the middle overs. In four overs, he conceded only 13 runs and dismissed the dangerous Karim Sadiq.
Sikandar Raza led the charge for the Paktia, holding to one end, with an intelligent 52-run knock. He was well supported in the latter half of the Paktia innings by Isuru Udana and the duo added 54 for the 8th wicket that took Panthers to a fighting total of 127. Sayed Shirzad helped dismantle Kandahar with a palpable tally of 4 wickets for just 19 runs.
Najibullah Zadran’s (20) gave Kandahar Knights a glimmer of hope until he holed out to long-on off Sharafuddin Ashraf. Paktia Panthers felt they were in firm control but Janat and Mohammad Naveed stitched an attacking partnership and kept chipping at the total. With 14 needed off 12 balls, the momentum shifted again when Sharafuddin bowled three dots to Naveed and then enticed him to hit one to long-off.
Yamin Ahmadzai was handed the task off defending 12 in the last over. He dismissed Shirzad off the first ball. Janat managed to retain strike but was run-out off the fourth ball attempting an impossible second. So close, yet so far for the Kandahar Knights.
Brief scores: Paktia Panthers 127 all out in 18.2 overs (Sikandar Raza 51, Isuru Udana 23; Mohammad Naveed 2 for 34, Sayed Shirzad 4 for 19, Waqar Salamkheil 2 for 19) beat Kandahar Knights 118 all out in 19.4 overs (Brendon McCullum 18, Najibullah Zadran 20, Karim Janat 27; Isuru Udana 3 for 19, Yamin Ahmadzai 2 for 20, Sharafuddin Ashraf 3 for 31) by nine runs.