Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 3rd ODI: All-round Afghanistan stay alive

Ahmadi celebrates after bringing up his half-century

Ahmadi celebrates after bringing up his half-century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Afghanistan pulled off a major two-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the third ODI in Bulawayo to keep themselves alive in the four-match series.

Afghanistan opener Javed Ahmadi was the star of the match as he scored a vital half-century.

However, Zimbabwe opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza and captain Brendan Taylor both deserve a huge amount of credit for their valiant half-centuries.

Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi would have been pleased with his decision to bowl first early on as Zimbabwe opener Sikandar Raza was caught by debutant Nasir Jamal at point off the bowling of Dawlat Zadran for 11.

Masakadza and Taylor made up for the early loss of Raza with a 109-run partnership, during which Masakadza brought up his half-century, before he was caught by Jamal off the bowling of Aftab Alam.

Masakadza’s brilliant knock of 84 came off 93 balls and included nine boundaries and two sixes.

Masakadza was named Man of the Match for his gutsy innings of 84

Masakadza was named Man of the Match for his gutsy innings of 84

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Taylor went on to score 53 off 81 deliveries, which included three boundaries, before he was run out by Zadran.

Malcolm Waller only made 15 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Zadran.

Sean Williams managed to make 49 runs, which came off 52 balls and included four boundaries and a six, before he was caught by Nabi at midwicket off the bowling of Sharafuddin Ashraf.

Following Williams’ dismissal, Zimbabwe’s lower order collapsed as they went from 225/5 to finishing on 258/8 off their 50 overs.

Zadran and Alam picked up two wickets apiece, while Ashraf and Nabi chipped in with one wicket each.

Chasing 259 to win, Afghanistan got off to an excellent start as Ahmadi and Usman Ghani amassed an 83-run partnership before Ghani was caught by Natsai Mushangwe off the bowling of Williams for 43.

Noor Ali Zadran failed to trouble the scorers as he was caught by Tendai Chatara at point off the bowling of Mushangwe for a duck.

Ahmadi ended up making 56 of 57 balls, which included seven boundaries and a six, before he was clean bowled by Raza.

Jamal and Samiullah Shenwari stabilised the innings with a 54-run partnership before Jamal was caught by Tafadzwa Kamungozi at point off the bowling of Walller for 28.

Shenwari went on to make 41 before he was also caught by Kamungozi at point, but only off the bowling of Mushangwe.

Wicketkeeper Shafiqullah mustered three runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Williams.

In order to keep his side on track to win the game, Nabi smashed 42 runs off 40 deliveries, which included one boundary and two sixes, before he was run out by Waller.

Ashraf scored 14 runs before he was run out by Mushangwe.

Despite the late flurry of wickets, Afghanistan managed to reach their target with two balls to spare.

Williams and Mushangwe claimed two wickets each, while Raza and Waller snapped up one wicket apiece.

Even though he was on the losing team, Masakadza was named Man of the Match.

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