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Shpageeza 2020: Knights hold nerve in opening game

Hashmatullah Shahidi played a crucial knock
Hashmatullah Shahidi played a crucial knock
©Afghanistan Cricket Board

Mis Ainak Knights started off their campaign in the Shpageeza Cricket League at the Kabul International Cricket Stadium with a thrilling one-run win over Band-e-Amir Dragons field on the opening day of the tournament.

After opting to field, Band-e-Amir Dragons made early inroads as Knights recovered well through their top-order. Opener Mohammad Shahzad (54: 33b, 6x4, 3x6) retired hurt with the score on 80 for one in 9.1 overs. Shahzad could not take any further part in the match. He was replaced by Afsar Zazai. Further Hashmatullah Shahidi replaced Zazai with the score on 142 for one in 15.3 overs. Shahidi top-scored with a 44-ball 65 off nine boundaries and two sixes. Ghamai Zadran (30: 23b, 1x4, 2x6) was the other key contributor for Knights. There was a late-order collapse, following which Knights ended at 179 for seven in their 20 overs.

For Dragons, Sharafuddin Ashraf (2-36) and Waqar Salamkheil (2-40) were the key wicket-takers.

In their response, Dragons were well served by openers Usman Ghani (79: 63b, 5x4, 2x6) and Hazratullah Zazai (24) who put on 58 in 5.5 overs. Captain Asghar Afghan (45:29b, 6x4) held the innings together. At the start of the 20th over, Dragons needed 14 runs for a win. In the end Dragons finished a run short to end at 178 for five.

Match Summary-Mis Ainak Knights v Band-e-Amir Dragons, 1st Match, Shpageeza Cricket League 2020

Mis Ainak Knights 179-7 (20)
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Najeeb Tarakai-1.4 ov), 2-132 (Hashmatullah Shahidi-15.1 ov), 3-133 (Sediqullah Pacha-15.3 ov), 4-144 (Shahidullah-16.5 ov), 5-151 (Ibrahim-17.4 ov), 6-162 (Ghamai Zadran-18.6 ov), 7-167 (Shapoor Zadran-19.2 ov)

Band-e-Amir Dragons 178-5 (20)
Fall of wickets: 1-58 (Hazratullah Zazai-5.5 ov), 2-148 (Asghar Afghan-16.2 ov), 3-153 (Ibrahim Zadran-17.3 ov), 4-165 (Usman Ghani-18.5 ov), 5-166 (Tariq Stanikzai-19.1 ov)

Result-Mis Ainak Knights won by 1 run


Playing XI
Mis-e Ainak Knights: Mohammad Shahzad (wicket-keeper), Najeebullah Tarakai, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Ghamai Zadran, Sediqullah Pacha, Shahidullah, Ibrahim, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran (captain), Abdullah Mazari, Noor Ahmad

Band-e Amir Dragons: Asghar Afghan (captain), Usman Ghani, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Sharafudin Ashraf, Tariq Stanikzai, Nasir Jamal, Waqar Salamkheil, Hamid Hassan, Mohammad Sardar, Mohammad Ibrahim