Who will win Kandahar Knights vs Kabul Zwanan?
Kabul Zwanan are bidding for a third win in four games when they take on winless Kandahar Knights in the Afghanistan Premier League at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The match is scheduled for October 11 and the live action begins at 16:00 local time.
KZ vs KK: Where to watch/Live streaming
TV channels: Ariana Television Network, Dsport, FreeSports, WillowTV, SKY Sport NZ, SuperSport, Ten Sports, Channel 9
Live streaming: Dsport, Willow TV Online, OSN Play, Sky Go, SuperSport Live
Kabul Zwanan have elected to field on both occasions they have won the toss. Their only defeat came batting first, so expect Rashid Khan to field first if given the choice.
Read on for team previews, betting tips, latest odds and match prediction for Kabul Zwanan vs Kandahar Knights (Afghanistan Premier League).
Kabul Zwanan Team News & Playing 11
KZ Team News
Kabul Zwanan made one change from the team beaten by Balkh Legends, with Muslim Musa making way for Nijat Masood. He too was expensive with the ball, as was Ali Khan who was dropped after the first game. With Wayne Parnell also shipping runs, the latter could come back in to face Kandahar Knights; while the batting line-up is well set, it is clear they are yet to find their best bowling attack.
KZ Key Players
Hazratullah Zazai stole the show with the bat in the win against Nangarhar Leopards, smashing 124 from just 55 balls at the top of the order. He and Luke Ronchi shared a 144-run opening partnership in just 11.3 overs, with Hazratullah doing the majority of the hitting – he smashed 12 fours and nine sixes in total.
It was the Afghanistan international’s first big score of the tournament, but he did hit 74 and 82 in back to back T20 internationals against Ireland back in August too.
Englishman Laurie Evans had previously been their batting star, picking up where he left off in the t20 Blast – where he was top run scorer as Sussex reached the final – with scores of 79* and 64 in the first two matches.
Kabul Zwanan’s weakness has been with the ball, where they have shipped plenty of runs. That is not the case for world number one T20 international bowler Rashid Khan, however – the Afghan spinner took 1-13 from his four overs against Nangarhar Leopards to maintain his economical start to the tournament. In fact, his contribution was arguably just as important as Hazratullah’s batting.
KZ Team Form
Kabul Zwanan started the APL with a win on the opening night, successfully chasing 219 to beat Paktia Panthers in the final over. Laurie Evans was the star as he hit an unbeaten 79 from 39 balls to lead his side to victory.
They lost their second game, despite more big hitting from Evans (64) and an unbeaten 27-ball 56 for Rashid Khan. Their total of 176/6 proved to be below par, as Balkh Legends got home with seven balls to spare to win by eight wickets.
Last time out, however, Kabul Zwanan roared back to winning ways and in some style too. Rashid Khan’s 1-13 from four overs stopped Nangarhar Leopards’ score getting too out of hand as they finished 188/5, before Hazratullah Zazai stole the show with the bat. A 144-run opening partnership with Luke Ronchi (26) set the tone, before he was eventually dismissed for 124 from 55 balls, leaving Javen Ahmadi and Laurie Evans to lead Kabul Zwanan home with 13 balls to spare.
Kabul Zwanan Predicted Playing 11
Luke Ronchi, Hazratullah Zazai, Colin Ingram, Javed Ahmadi, Laurie Evans, Shahidullah, Rashid Khan, Ali Khan, Fareed Ahmad, Zahir Shehzad, Nijat Masood
Kandahar Kings Team News & Playing 11
KK Team News
Kandahar Knights have been unchanged in their two matches so far, but may look to make changes after two defeats. Wicket-keeper Karim Sadiq has failed to score in either of his two innings, while fast bowler Tymal Mills has been expensive and wicketless in the two games so far.
UAE international Mohammad Naveed is one option to come in for the latter, but the Knights have been hamstrung by the unavailability of Wahab Riaz, Sam Billings, Iftikhar Ahmed, Soumya Sarkar and Mohammad Mithun from their original roster. Sadiq could be replaced by Munir Ahmad, meanwhile.
KK Key Players
While the Kandahar batsmen are yet to fire, they possess some explosive batsmen – not least T20 icon Brendon McCullum – a Caribbean Premier League winner in his most recent T20 exploit before this one.
Irish duo Kevin O’Brien and Paul Stirling’s batting prowess is well known too – the latter most recently scored 498 runs in the t20 Blast in England, including one century.
Captain Asghar Afghan hit 45 from 32 balls in the most recent game against Balkh Legends but the rest of the middle order failed to fire as the Knights lost by 13 runs.
One positive has at least been their economical bowling, with Amir Hamza bowling a maiden in the last game on his way to figures of 1-23 from four overs, while Karim Janat (1-19 from three) also helped keep things tight.
KK Team Form
Kandahar Knights have lost both matches they have played so far, posting the two lowest completed totals in the tournament. They were restricted to 139/9 in their first game, and the Nangarhar Leopards chased that for the loss of four wickets with nine balls to spare. And the Knights then finished 13 runs short of Balkh Legends’ 165/5, as they once again failed to cope with some excellent seam bowling, despite a 32-ball 45 from Asghar Afghan.
Kandahar Kings Predicted Playing 11
Paul Stirling, Brendon McCullum, Najibullah Zadran, Asghar Afghan, Karim Janat, Kevin O'Brien, Mohammad Naveed, Munir Ahmad, Sayed Shirzad, Waqar Salamkheil, Amir Hamza
Kabul Zwanan vs Kandahar Kings Betting Odds
Kabul Zwanan are unsurprisingly odds-on favourites to beat Kandahar Knights, and you can back them at 1.66 to win with Bet365 – compared to 2.20 on the out-of-form Knights.
It was their opening batsmen who stole the show in the win against Nangahar Leopards and, while Kandahar Knights have Paul Stirling and Brendon McCullum at the top of the order, it is worth backing Kabul at 1.90 with Bet365 to have the highest opening partnership.
Hazratullah Zazai is 4.00 to be Kabul Zwanan’s top batsman again after his exploits last time out, but Laurie Evans (5.50) has also been consistent and is worth backing. Unsurprisingly, Rashid Khan is just 2.25 to be their best bowler.
For the Knights, runs have been in short supply but Brendon McCullum is 3.50 to be their top batsman. Paul Stirling (4.50) is another option, having been in good form in the t20 Blast.
Kabul Zwanan vs Kandahar Kings Prediction
Kabul Zwanan have been in explosive form with the bat, and with Kandahar Knights - hit hard by several players dropping out - failing to fire so far, it could be a third win in four for Kabul.
Final Verdict: Back Kabul Zwanan to beat Kandahar Knights at 1.66 with Bet365.