Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman took a career-best five wickets to not only lead his side to a 10-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the fourth ODI in Sharjah, but also hand them an unassailable 3-1 series lead.
Choosing to bat first, Zimbabwe didn’t get off to the best of starts as opener Solomon Mire was clean bowled by Mujeeb for nine runs.
Mujeeb struck again in his next over as he cleaned up Hamilton Masakadza for four runs.
Just as Zimbabwe seemed to be recovering from the double strike, Tarisai Musakanda was caught and bowled by Mohammad Nabi for nine runs.
Brendan Taylor made a 29-ball 30 before he was dismissed by Sharafuddin Ashraf.
Once Taylor was dismissed, Zimbabwe completely collapsed as Mujeeb and Rashid Khan carved through their middle and lower order.
Thanks to Craig Ervine’s mature innings of 54 not out, which came off 73 balls and included six boundaries and a six, Zimbabwe managed to make 134 before being bowled out.
Mujeeb was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Rashid and Nabi snapped up two wickets apiece. As for Ashraf, he chipped in with one.
Chasing 135 to win, Afghanistan’s opening duo of Mohammad Shahzad and Ihsanullah finished things off by themselves as they amassed an unbeaten 135-run partnership.
Zimbabwe did everything in their power to break the stand and put up a fight after imploding while batting, but it was no use.
Shahzad finished on 75 off 74 balls, which included 10 boundaries and three sixes, while Ihsanullah remained undefeated on 51 off 53 deliveries, which included six boundaries and two sixes.
Mujeeb was named Man of the Match.