Afghanistan stun Zimbabwe

Mehluli Sibanda Senior Sports Reporter
VISITING Afghanistan posted a historic One-Day International cricket triumph over Zimbabwe when they secured a tense two wicket victory in the third ODI played at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday. It turned out to be an edgy finish in the end with the Afghans requiring seven runs from the last over and won the match with two balls to spare. Dawlat Zadran, who came in to bat at number nine, was the hero for the tourists with the six off Shingirai Masakadza which sealed off the win.

Zimbabwe, sent in to bat first had posted 261 runs in 50 overs, with opener Hamilton Masakadza and skipper Brendan Taylor chipping in with half centuries each. Mohammad Javi was the top scorer for the visitors with 56 runs while some late hitting from the tail enders won it for Afghanistan.

Hamilton Masakadza
Masakadza was voted man of the match for his 93 ball 84 runs.

Yesterday’s result now makes it an interesting scenario going into the fourth and final ODI at the same venue tomorrow. Zimbabwe needs a win to clinch the series 3-1 — while a victory for Afghanistan will see the series ending in a 2-2 stalemate.

Zimbabwe’s opening pair of Hamilton Masakadza and Sikandar Raza yielded 36 runs, Raza being the first to go when he fell to Aftab Alam, caught by Nasir Jamal for 11 runs.

Masakadza and skipper Brendan Taylor put on 109 runs for the second wicket, Masakadza again missing out on a century, out for 84 runs, dismissed by Dawlat Zadran.

Taylor scored 53 runs prior to being run out by Dawlat Zadran. The Zimbabwean captain lost his wicket when Zimbabwe were on 180 runs.

Malcolm Waller only contributed 15 runs for Zimbabwe prior to becoming Dawlat Zadran’s second victim.

Williams fell one short of his half century, dismissed by Sharafuddin Ashraf, taken at mid wicket by skipper Mohammad Nabi.

Chigumbura and Timycen Maruma put on 29 runs for the sixth wicket prior to Maruma falling for 13 off nine deliveries before he tried to clear the boundary off Nabi’s bowling only for Samiullah Shenwari produced a stunning catch in the deep.

Natsai Mushangwe did not spend much time at the crease, bowled for a two ball duck by Aftab Alam. A mix up between Chigumbura and Shingirai Masakadza saw Chigumbura run out by Usman Ghani for 20 runs.

Requiring 5.24 runs per over, Afghanistan were given a bright start by their openers Mohammad Javid and Usman Ghani who scored at above the needed run rate.

Pace bowler Shingirai Masakadza gave away 15 runs off his second over in which the seamer sent down one no ball and two wide deliveries. He was replaced by leg spinner Tafadzwa Kamungozi who was also not spared as his first over cost 12 runs.

Left arm spinner Williams found the breakthrough for Zimbabwe when he had Ghani caught at mid on by Mushangwe for 43 runs off 43, an innings made up four fours and one six.

Mushangwe, with the fourth ball of his first over delivered the second wicket for Zimbabwe, getting rid of Shapoor Zadran who was caught at point by Chatara for four ball duck.

Sikandar Raza got a wicket with the very first ball of his first over, bowling Javid for 56 runs off 57 deliveries with seven fours and one six, the tourists three down with 112 runs on the board.

Williams claimed his second wicket in his ninth over, trapping Shafaq for three runs.

While Zimbabwe claimed two wickets, Afghanistan captain Nabi and Ashraf took Afghanistan closer to the victory target. Raza was ripped apart in his fifth over in which he conceded four sixes. Zimbabwe did get the wicket of Nabi when he was run out by Waller for 42 runs.

Ashraf was also run out for 14 runs, Mushangwe throwing in the ball for Taylor to complete the dismissal.

It came down to the last over, bowled by Shingirai Masakadza, Dawlat Zadran and Shapoor Zadran the two batsmen at the crease.

Afghanistan needed seven runs with Dawlat slamming the fourth ball of the over for a six to seal a momentous triumph for Afghanistan.
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