Afghanistan brush aside Zimbabwe to take series lead

The inconsistency bug bit the Chevrons again as they suffered a comprehensive six-wicket defeat to Afghanistan with the latter claiming a 2-1 lead in the Five-match ODI series.

By SportBrief Reporter

Having been sent to bat first, the Chevrons put in an unimpressive showing with Brandon Taylor the first to depart off the bowling of Mujeeb Zadran for a measly nine runs, a far cry from the 121-ball 125 runs he had mustered in the previous fixture.

Next to go was Solomon Mire, who was dismissed in the same over. Sean Ervine and Zimbabwe’s most consistent performer Sikander Raza stepped up and looked to rebuild the Chevron’s innings but Rashid Khan struck to dismiss Raza on 38 and his replacement Ryan Burl on the next ball to reduce Zimbabwe to 117 for 5 in the 23rd over.

Malcolm Waller (1) and Craig Ervine (39) departed for the addition of just nine more runs to the total. Captain Graeme Cremer too fell cheaply, before Tendai Chatara and Brian Vitori chipped in with a few runs. Rashid though, ended both their time in the middle, across two overs to complete his five-wicket haul and end Zimbabwe’s innings at 154.

An all-round show from Afghanistan helped them complete a comprehensive six-wicket victory over Zimbabwe to take a 2-1 series lead in the five-match ODI series, at Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium on Tuesday (February 13). Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Zadran picked eight wickets between them to bowl out Zimbabwe for just 154, after which fifties from Rahmat Shah and Nasir Jamal ensured smooth sailings in chase.

In response, the Zimbabwean bowlers began quite well, with Tendai Chatara claiming the early wickets of Mohammad Shahzad and Ihsanullah Janat.

But an in-form Rahmat and Jamal dashed the Chevrons hopes with a 69-run match-winning partnership. They both scored half-centuries and were then dismissed, but Afghanistan would eventually see off the chase in just the 28th over with six wickets to spare.

Zimbabwe will now have to win in the fourth fixture, on February 16, if they are to avoid a rather embarrassing series loss to a side which is ranked lower than them.

Scores: Zimbabwe 154 in 34.3 overs (Craig Ervine 39, Sikandar Raza 38; Rashid Khan 5-24, Mujeeb Zadran 3-45) lost to Afghanistan 158/4 in 27.3 overs (Rahmat Shah 56, Nasir Jamal 51; Tendai Chatara 2-18) by 6 wickets.

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