Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan scythed through Zimbabwe’s batting line-up with a sparkling five-wicket haul to lead his side to a comfortable six-wicket win.
As a result of their victory, Afghanistan claimed a 2-1 series lead.
Opting to bat first, Zimbabwe lost opener Hamilton Masakadza early on as he was caught by Ihsanullah in the slip cordon off the bowling of Dawlat Zadran for nine runs.
Brendan Taylor also made nine runs before he was caught by Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai at mid-off off the bowling of Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Mujeeb struck again two balls later as Solomon Mire was caught behind for 22.
Craig Ervine and Sikandar Raza stabilised the innings with a 73-run partnership before Raza was trapped lbw off the bowling of Rashid for 38.
Once Raza was gone, Rashid carved through Zimbabwe’s middle and lower order, including Ervine, who made 39.
With none of the batsmen putting up a fight, Zimbabwe were skittled out for 154.
Rashid was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Mujeeb snapped up three. As for Dawlat and Gulbadin Naib, they chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 155 to win, Afghanistan were dealt a big blow in the fourth over as opener Mohammad Shahzad was dismissed by Tendai Chatara for seven runs.
Ihsanullah didn’t fare much better as he was caught caught by Malcolm Waller at mid-on off the bowling of Chatara for 12.
Rahmat Shah and Nasir Jamal steadied the ship with a 69-run stand, during which Rahmat brought up his half-century.
However, he was unable to make the most of it as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Ryan Burl for 56, which came off 52 balls and included nine boundaries and a six.
Jamal went on to make 51 off 57 deliveries, which included six boundaries, before he was sent packing by Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer.
Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran mopped up the remaining runs as Afghanistan won the match with 135 balls to spare.
Chatara was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Burl and Cremer claimed one wicket each.
Rashid was named Man of the Match.