Afghanistan continue dominance over Zimbabwe with another win
Half centuries from Mohammad Shahzad and Rahmat Shah laid the groundwork for yet another win for Afghanistan over Zimbabwe this time by 54 runs at Harare Sports Club.
The visitors won the toss and chose to bat on a sunny morning in Harare and started well enough before Richard Ngarava accounted for Noor Ali Zadrin for 14.
Shah and Shahzad then combined for a partnership of 86 with the latter our for 64 bowled by captain Graeme Cremer. Cremer then removed Afghan captain Ashgan Stanikzai for 6.
Shah eventually departed for 53 when he was trapped leg before by Tendai Chatara.
Mohammad Nabi (33) and Najibullah Zadran (45) were the only other scorers of note as Afghanistan made 238-9 off their allotted overs.
Zimbabwe persisted with the opening partnership of Solomon Mire and Peter Moor even though Hamilton Masakadza had been drafted into the squad following an injury to Sikandar Raza.
Mire powered his way to a run-a-ball 54 in a 69-run opening stand.
Moor departed soon after one nicking Gulbadin Naib’s to Shazad’s gloves. Zimbabwe’s keeper did not seem impressed with the decision,
Craig Ervine was then joined by Masakadza who was circumspect in his innings and was soon gone for 5 off 11 balls.
Ervine and Burl rotated the strike efficiently for periods before the former was caught brilliantly at cover by Samiullah Shenwari just inches off the surface.
After that Zimbabwe lost 5 wickets in 5 overs.
The only highlight going for the last couple of overs was Ngarava sending his first ball in international cricket over for a six. Eight balls later he sent one down mid-on’s throat. Zimbabwe were all out for 184 after 42.1 overs.
Man of the match Rashid Khan said his side were more relaxed given their record against the Chevrons allowing them to play more freely. The two sides have met 16 times with Afghanistan getting the better of Zimbabwe on 10 of those occasions.
Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak was critical of players he felt were getting in but not making big scores adding that his senior players were letting the side down.
Meanwhile, Raza could be available for Tuesday’s vital match after scans showed no damage.