Mis Ainak Knights fought hard to beat Band-e-Amir Dragons in the Qualifier at Kabul on Wednesday to book a place in the final of Shpageeza Cricket League. In the second Qualifier, Kabul Eagles knocked out Boost Defenders to book a place in the Eliminator against Band-e-Amir Dragons on Thursday.
In the first Qualifier, Mis Ainak Knights posted 164/8 before bowling out Dragons for 140 to win by 24 runs. Knights were asked to bat first. Vusi Sibanda and Ihsanullah combined to put on 74-run stand for the opening wicket before the former retired hurt for a personal score of 36.
Ihsanullah kept one end up with a brilliant cameo of 29-ball 43 with 3 fours and 3 sixes. Knights innings stuttered a bit in the death overs, losing wickets regularly, before Ryan Burl provided the late momentum with a knock of 19-ball 38 with 6 fours and one six. Knights scored 164/8 in 20 overs.
In reply, Dragons were off to a worse start, losing their opener Javed Ahmadi for duck off the bowling of Mohammad Nabi. Shahidullah and Rahmat Shah revived the innings with a stand of 54 runs in 6 overs before the dismissal of the former turned things around. Zahir Khan took three wickets in space of 6 runs to slump Dragons to 88/5. Things looked dismal for Dragons from then.
Nabi dismissed the dangerous Najibullah Zadran for 2 to end all hopes of a fightback. Zahir came back to polish off the tail as Dragons were bowled out for 140. Zahir Khan took five for 19 in his 4 overs.
In the second Qualifier match, Boost Defenders posted a below-par total of 131/9 with Gulbadin Naib scoring a fighting 52. However, Kabul Eagles chased down the target with five wickets and two balls to spare.