Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Mohammad Nabi struck a 27-ball 40, while Rashid Khan took three wickets as Afghanistan cruised to a five-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 International in Sharjah.
Being put in to bat first, Zimbabwe got off to an excellent start as Hamilton Masakadza and debutant Solomon Mire amassed a 52-run partnership in just under six overs.
However, Mire ended up being caught by Nabi at short midwicket off the bowling of Aftab Alam for a 21-ball 34.
Masakadza went on to make 18 before he was clean bowled by Gulbadin Naib.
Once Masakadza was gone, Zimbabwe completely imploded as Rashid and Sharafuddin Ashraf sliced through their middle and lower order. Zimbabwe went from 65/2 to being reduced to 85/8.
Even though Rashid cleaned up Tendai Chatara in the penultimate over, Malcolm Waller gave Zimbabwe a much-needed spark as he smashed an unbeaten 27 to lead his side to 120/9 off their 20 overs.
Rashid was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Ashraf snapped up two and Alam, Naib and Nabi chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 121 to win, Afghanistan lost opener Karim Sadiq early on as he was caught behind off the bowling of Kyle Jarvis for five runs.
Mohammad Shahzad was looking dangerous at the crease, but after belting a boundary and two sixes during his 11-ball 20, he was caught behind off the bowling of debutant Blessing Muzarabani.
Captain Asghar Stanikzai only made 11, while Ashraf managed to score 18 before he was trapped lbw off the bowling of debutant Ryan Burl.
Even though Najibullah Zadran did not trouble the scorers, Nabi and Shafiqullah finished things off with an unbeaten 36-run stand.
Nabi ended up making 40 off 27 balls, which included four boundaries and three sixes, while Shafiqullah remained undefeated on 14 off nine deliveries, which included a boundary and a six.
Muzarabani was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Jarvis, Chatara and Burl claimed one wicket each.
Nabi was named Man of the Match.