Terrific Taylor ton reverses Afghanistan
Brendan Taylor posted his first century since his return to the international fold for Zimbabwe as they beat Afghanistan by 154 runs in the second ODI match at Sharjah Stadium in the United Arab Emirates.
Promoted to number 3 Taylor came in after Solomon Mire lost his wicket with Zimbabwe on 10.
Having opted to bat first the Chevrons needed a showing especially after their emphatic loss in the first match.
Hamilton Masakadza and Taylor then went about building the innings, the former the aggressor on his way to a well-played 48 before being run out with Zimbabwe on 95.
Craig Ervine joined the party and sought to dig in before one tickled the edge of his bat off Rashid Khan for 14.
If there ever was a time for Zimbabwe to show they were going to make a fist fight of it, it was at that point. Sikandar Raza and Taylor combined for 135 runs in which the pace bowlers were taken to the cleaners for long periods.
Taylor’s 125 came with five fours and eight sixes off 121 balls before he perished, bowled by Rashid Khan.
With just under five overs to go Raza accelerated his attack and fell within sight of a century on 92, driving one to cover off Gulbadin Naib.
There was still time for Malcolm Waller to make a brisk 22 off 14 balls as Zimbabwe made 333-5 off 50 overs. This was the exact score Afghanistan made in the first tie. Keep this in mind
Tendai Chatara was a man on a mission and had Ihsanullah out for just 2, the first of his three victims.
Mohammad Shahzad fell shortly, becoming Brian Vitori’s first international wicket since being allowed to bowl again.
Two wickets then fell in the same Chatara over, Asghar Stanikzai and Nasir Jamal. Afghanistan were reeling on 29-4.
It was soon 36-5 when Najibullah Zadran was removed by Blessing Muzarabani.
A 53 run stand followed between Rahmat Shah and Mohammad Nabi before the latter was trapped leg before on 31 by captain Graeme Cremer. Gulbadin fell of the very next ball.
It looked to be a matter of time but for a 64-run 10th wicket partnership between Dalwat Zadran and Mujeeb Zadran thanks to some loose bowling from Zimbabwe that pushed the score to 179 before being bowled out.
179. The number of runs Zimbabwe were bowled out for in the first match. Zimbabwe just took 30 overs for the job on Sunday as opposed to 34.4 on Friday.
Cremer ended on 4-41 while Chitara returned figures of 3-24.
The next match is Tuesday at the same venue.