All-round Afghanistan thump Zimbabwe
Afghanistan have started T20I tri-series with a comfortable 28-run victory over Zimbabwe in the second match at Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.
Zimbabwe sent in Afghanistan to bat first following their yesterday’s defeat to hosts Bangladesh. Afghanistan’s debutant wicket-keeping opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz gave them a flying start. He made 24-ball 43 runs in his first T20I innings.
Afghanistan had their momentum boost-up at the death when experienced Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran made absolute mockery of Zimbabwe’s bowling in their 107-run fifth-wicket stand. In fact, they hit seven consecutive sixes together – Nabi hit four off Tendai Chatara in the 17th over and Najibullah started with three maximums against Nevill Madziva in the next over.
Najibullah smacked 6 sixes and 5 fours in his unbeaten 69 runs from 30 deliveries. Nabi made 38 off 18. In total, Afghanistan hit 15 sixes – the most in a T20I innings in Mirpur.
In reply to Afghanistan’s 197/5, Zimbabwe kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Brendan Taylor kicked off with 16-ball 27. Tinotenda Mutombodzi (20) and Ryan Burl (25) could not play a longer innings in the process.
Regis Chakbva was the standout, who remained not out on 42 runs off 22 balls including 3 fours and 2 sixes. But that was not enough for Zimbabwe to avoid their second successive defeat.
Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan and left-arm pacer Fareed Ahmed took two wickets each.
Afghanistan 197/5 in 20 overs (Najibullah 69*, Gurbaz 43, Nabi 38; Williams 2/16)
Zimbabwe 169/7 in 20 overs (Chakabva 42*, Taylor 27; Rahid 2/29, Fareed 2/35)
Afghanistan won by 28 runs
Man of the Match: Najibullah Zadran