Nangarhar Leopards captain Ben Cutting’s efforts with the bat and ball were not enough to secure a win the fourth match in Afganistan Premier League as Paktia Panthers beat them by 21 runs. Cutting took three wickets in his four-over spell for 25 runs and scored an entertaining 39-ball 71-runs. However, his heroic batting couldn’t take them to the target 184 set by Paktia Panthers. Leopards ended their innings 163-6 in 20 overs falling short of 21 runs.
Earlier, winning the toss and batting first Paktia Panthers had a decent start though they lost Ihsanullah in the second over. Mohammad Shahzad continued his good form with the bat and with Delport added 80 runs for the second wicket at the very quick rate. Delport was the second one to depart after 22-ball 35-run. Shahzad fell in the next over after a brilliant half-century, 53 off 31 balls. Shenwari and the middle order took them to 184 in 20 overs. He remained unbeaten on 38 and Afridi scored 19 to help them post a competitive total. Once again Ben Cutting was the pick of the bowler for Leopards and Zahir Khan took two wickets in his spell for just 22 runs.
Leopards had a disaster start for the chase as they lost Johnson Charles in the first over. Devcich followed him in the third over of the match. Half of the batting side was back in pavilion within ten overs. Credit to some great bowling in the first half by Paktia bowlers. Cutting then joined Shahidi showcased excellent batting in 112 runs partnership for the sixth wicket. Cutting took the attack back to the Paktia bowlers as he smashed them all over the park. He hit six huge sixes in his 71 runs innings at a strike rate of 182. Shahidi on the other end provided him excellent support with his 49 off 36 balls with two sixes. The duo’s brilliant efforts were not enough as they fall short of the target. Cutting was dismissed in the penultimate ball of the innings in an unfortunate form of hit wicket.
Paktia is on the second spot in the points table with one win in two matches.