Rashid’s magic secures comfortable win in first ODI

The first ODI between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe has been an one-sided encounter where Afghanistan dominated and secured a comfortable victory over Zimbabwe by 154 runs.

Afghanistan’s 24-year-old batsman Rahmat Shah smashed a splendid century (114 off 110 balls) after opener Ihsanullah Janat’s 53-ball 54 to set up the team’s massive first-innings total. From 175 for 4 at one stage, Afghanistan finished on 333 for 6, courtesy a 158-run partnership between Rahmat and No.6 batsman Najibullah Zadran, who blitz his way to a 51-ball 81.

In reply, Zimbabwe were derailed by the spin duo of Mujeeb Zadran and none other than the magical leg spinner Rashid Khan as they picked six wickets between them. Mire and Hamilton Masakadza made a promising start, but their partnership of 50 runs was the biggest of their innings. After pacer Dawlat Zadran broke the alliance, Mujeeb and Mohammad Nabi dug their teeth into the top-order, leaving them reeling on 114 for 4 in the 23rd over.

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Rashid then arrived to rattle them further by dismantling the middle and lower-middle order – Ryan Burl and Malcolm Waller fell in the same over while Cremer was sent packing a couple later. By this point, Zimbabwe were down to 136 for 8 and were staring at a mountain that appeared too steep to climb.

A couple of overs after Jarvis’s exit, Rashid ended the game with Brian Vitori’s scalp to help Afghanistan go 1-0 up in the five-match ODI series in a rather emphatic manner.

Brief score:

AFG 333/5 (50 ov) | Rahmat 114, Zardan 81 | Cremer 3/47
ZIM 179 (34.4 ov) | Mire 34 | Rashid, 4/26, Zadran 2/41

Result: Afghanistan won by 154 runs

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