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Afghanistan Thrash Zimbabwe To Seal 4-1 Series-Win

Afghanistan cricketers thrashed Zimbabwe by 146 runs in the final match of their ODI series. 

Another batting collapse against Afghanistan's spinners saw Zimbabwe lose by 146 runs in the fifth and final ODI in Sharjah. 

The ICC reported the victory gave Afghanistan a convincing 4-1 victory in the ODI series. 

Late hitting by Rashid Khan – the scourge of Zimbabwe with the ball so far during the tour, the 19-year-old leg-spinner contributed 43 off 29 with the bat – had got Afghanistan up to 241/9 off their 50 overs after Zimbabwe had applied significant pressure in the middle overs.

Despite the early loss of Mohammad Shahzad after winning the toss, Afghanistan rallied with a superb 129-run partnership. Opener Javed Ahmadi – who was replacing Ihsanullah at the top of the order to make his first international appearance since the Ireland ODIs in December – will be kicking himself not to have made a hundred on his return, the ICC reported. 

He hit an 87-ball 76 with six fours before, with the score on 148/2, he failed to ground his bat while taking a quick single and was consequently run out by a direct hit from Tendai Chisoro at mid-wicket.

Perhaps he was unsettled by the loss of his partner, No.3 Rahmat Shah, a quarter of an hour before. 

Afghanistan’s form man again passed 50 to compile a calm 75-ball 59 but became Zimbabwe’s much-needed breakthrough when falling to the left-arm spin of Sikandar Raza. 

With both set batsmen dismissed in quick succession Zimbabwe started to turn the game their way, dismissing each of Afghanistan’s Nos.4, 5, 6 and 7 for single figures. With their innings faltering, it was No.8 Sharafuddin Ashraf (21) and No.9 Rashid who got them up to what became a commanding total. 

They added 54 in the last five overs, with Rashid dispatching Blessing Muzarabani for two big sixes in the final over to give Afghanistan 241/9. 

Zimbabwe’s reply never got going. Afghanistan skipper Asghar Stanikzai might have appeared to be giving them a chance by delaying Rashid’s introduction with the ball until the 23rd over of the innings. 

But by that stage Graeme Cremer’s side were already 79/6.

Having got to 17 without loss off their first three overs, a mix-up between Hamilton Masakadza and Tarisai Musakanda led to the former’s run-out for 7, and the loss of any momentum or confidence that might have been developing. Musakanda was watchful but eventually out, caught on the pull at short mid-wicket off big left-arm quick Shapoor Zadran, in the eighth over for just 11 in a strange 27-ball innings. 

That brought together Craig Ervine and Brendan Taylor for what needed to be a match-defining partnership. It was Zimbabwe’s best – the experienced pair nudged their way to a 46-run stand – but it wasn’t enough, and when Taylor was out lbw for 27 after missing a straight one from left-arm spinner Sharafuddin Ashraf, all hope was, apparently, lost.

Ervine battled on grimly in challenging conditions as the spinners took over, eventually succumbing to 16-year-old starlet Mujeeb Zadran for a 75-ball 34, but the bottom seven batsmen contributed just nine runs – with four ducks and a 0 not out. 

Fittingly it was Rashid – who snuck in with 3/13 from his 5.1 overs – who finished things off, clean bowling No.11 Muzarabani to seal another comprehensive win and a 4-1 series victory.

Sport

Afghanistan Thrash Zimbabwe To Seal 4-1 Series-Win

Afghanistan cricketers thrashed Zimbabwe by 146 runs in the final match of their ODI series. 

Thumbnail

Another batting collapse against Afghanistan's spinners saw Zimbabwe lose by 146 runs in the fifth and final ODI in Sharjah. 

The ICC reported the victory gave Afghanistan a convincing 4-1 victory in the ODI series. 

Late hitting by Rashid Khan – the scourge of Zimbabwe with the ball so far during the tour, the 19-year-old leg-spinner contributed 43 off 29 with the bat – had got Afghanistan up to 241/9 off their 50 overs after Zimbabwe had applied significant pressure in the middle overs.

Despite the early loss of Mohammad Shahzad after winning the toss, Afghanistan rallied with a superb 129-run partnership. Opener Javed Ahmadi – who was replacing Ihsanullah at the top of the order to make his first international appearance since the Ireland ODIs in December – will be kicking himself not to have made a hundred on his return, the ICC reported. 

He hit an 87-ball 76 with six fours before, with the score on 148/2, he failed to ground his bat while taking a quick single and was consequently run out by a direct hit from Tendai Chisoro at mid-wicket.

Perhaps he was unsettled by the loss of his partner, No.3 Rahmat Shah, a quarter of an hour before. 

Afghanistan’s form man again passed 50 to compile a calm 75-ball 59 but became Zimbabwe’s much-needed breakthrough when falling to the left-arm spin of Sikandar Raza. 

With both set batsmen dismissed in quick succession Zimbabwe started to turn the game their way, dismissing each of Afghanistan’s Nos.4, 5, 6 and 7 for single figures. With their innings faltering, it was No.8 Sharafuddin Ashraf (21) and No.9 Rashid who got them up to what became a commanding total. 

They added 54 in the last five overs, with Rashid dispatching Blessing Muzarabani for two big sixes in the final over to give Afghanistan 241/9. 

Zimbabwe’s reply never got going. Afghanistan skipper Asghar Stanikzai might have appeared to be giving them a chance by delaying Rashid’s introduction with the ball until the 23rd over of the innings. 

But by that stage Graeme Cremer’s side were already 79/6.

Having got to 17 without loss off their first three overs, a mix-up between Hamilton Masakadza and Tarisai Musakanda led to the former’s run-out for 7, and the loss of any momentum or confidence that might have been developing. Musakanda was watchful but eventually out, caught on the pull at short mid-wicket off big left-arm quick Shapoor Zadran, in the eighth over for just 11 in a strange 27-ball innings. 

That brought together Craig Ervine and Brendan Taylor for what needed to be a match-defining partnership. It was Zimbabwe’s best – the experienced pair nudged their way to a 46-run stand – but it wasn’t enough, and when Taylor was out lbw for 27 after missing a straight one from left-arm spinner Sharafuddin Ashraf, all hope was, apparently, lost.

Ervine battled on grimly in challenging conditions as the spinners took over, eventually succumbing to 16-year-old starlet Mujeeb Zadran for a 75-ball 34, but the bottom seven batsmen contributed just nine runs – with four ducks and a 0 not out. 

Fittingly it was Rashid – who snuck in with 3/13 from his 5.1 overs – who finished things off, clean bowling No.11 Muzarabani to seal another comprehensive win and a 4-1 series victory.

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