Fletcher Arrives in Style to Help his team Beat Balkh Legends
Waiting on the bench till today might have pumped up Andre Fletcher as when the opportunity came knocking he was up for it. Fletcher’s hard-hitting 22-ball 48 helped Nangarhar Leopards beat table toppers Balkh Legends convincingly by 6 wickets. With this win, Nangarhar Leopards finish off their league games stay on the edge for semi-final berth competing with Kandahar Knights for the last spot.
Set a target of 134, Andre Fletcher opened the batting for Nangarhar with their most prolific batsman this tournament, Anton Devcich. The duo raced on to 61 in the powerplay with the bulk of scoring done by Fletcher. In his quickfire 48, he blazed 6 deliveries out of the park. As soon as he departed, Nangarhar saw some slide losing 4 wickets for 22 runs. But then HashmatullahShahidi and ShafiqullahShafiq halted the slip and cruise them home without any further casualty with 2 overs to spare. Nangarhar Leopards’ spinners did well with Zahir Khan leading the way. His two for 24 was instrumental in applying the breaks along with Rahmat Shah’s one for 10 in two overs. Naveen-ul-Haq was the pick of the seamers with two for 21.
Earlier, small cameos in the middle from Rasooli, Doeschate and Bopara helped Balkh to put up a challenging total. With some tight bowling and fielding, Nangarhar kept the opposition on the hook throughout.
Qais Ahmed was in his elements, getting the ball to turn and foxing the batsmen in the air. Devich tried to charge but was stumped off a wide one. Johnson Charles holed out to the deep and Rahmat was stumped by an inch, thanks to some great work by Ikram Ali Khil. The wicketkeeper had a huge role in Qais’ success. Due to that spell, Nangarhar Leopards were now 83 for four in the 12th over.
Brief scores: Balkh Legends 133 for seven in 20 overs (Darwish Rasooli 27, Ravi Bopara 35; Naveen-ul-Haq 2 for 21, Fazal Niazai 2 for 32, Zahir Khan 2 for 24) lost to Nangarhar Leopards 134 for four in 18 overs (Andre Fletcher 48;, Hashmatullah Shahidi 35 not out, Shafiqullah Shafiq 27 not out; Qais Ahmed 3 for 19) by four wickets.