Afghanistan smash Zimbabwe to clinch series

Zimbabwe’s batting woes continued as they were dismissed for a paltry 54 by Afghanistan in the final one day international of the series at Harare Sports Club.

Zimbabwe’s bowling performance was also below par as they allowed Afghanistan to reach 253-9. The fielding was also missing after impressing during the series.

Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak expressed his disappointment while defending the young guys in the team adding that they needed more game time to see what they were all about.

Afghanistan came into the final deciding match with their tails up and were on top of Zimbabwe immediately scoring at almost 6 to the over.

Richard Ngarava bowled Mohammad Shahzad first up for 20, the third time he has dismissed him in this innings. Ngarava then trapped Gulbadin Naib leg before for 6 but with Noor Ali Zadrin had pushed aggressively.

Zadrin was finally out for 46 to the reinvigorated Chris Mpofu, the first of his three victims in the match.

Rahmat Shah (50) and IPL-bound Mohammad Nabi (48) were the main scorers after that although the rest contributed ably with the bat.

Tendai Chatara had a nightmare of a match and it was topped off with a weird attempt at a run-out at the end of the Afghanistan innings. With Amir Hamza stranded Chatara collected the ball from Peter Moor and ran with it to try and effect a run out. From a foot away, he missed all three stumps.

At lunch the heavens opened up. During the shower Afghanistan players rushed onto the field to help the ground staff stop water spilling onto the pitch fro the covers.

Afghanistan coach Lalchand Rajput was surprised by the lack of preparation by the hosts for the rains.

When the match resumed Zimbabwe were set a target of 161 in 22 overs.

And they never got going. Moor was out first cutting. His bat broke off Dawlat Zadran’s delivery and looped up for Hajibullah Zadran to collect easily.

Nothing happened after that. Bar captain Graeme Cremer (14) and Ryan Burl (11) got to double figures. Three batsmen Sean Williams, Chatara and Ngarava did not bother the scorers.

The Chevrons limped out in front about 9,000 vocal fans.

And like the two series before this one, Afghanistan clinched the series 3-2.

It’s a long road for Zimbabwe cricket.