Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Najibullah Zadran hammered a career-best 69 to lead Afghanistan to a comfortable 28-run win over Zimbabwe in the second match of the T20 tri-series in Dhaka.
Najibullah was well supported by Mohammad Nabi as the duo combined to hit seven successive sixes towards the end of Afghanistan’s innings.
Being put in to bat first, Afghanistan got off to a flying start as debutant Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai amassed a 57-run partnership in under six overs before Zazai was dismissed by Tendai Chatara for 13.
Gurbaz went on to score a 24-ball 43, which included five boundaries and two sixes, before he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Sean Williams.
Williams also removed Najeeb Tarakai for 14, while Asghar Afghan was sent packing by debutant Ainsley Ndlovu.
However, Najibullah and Nabi ensured Afghanistan finished with a bang as they amassed a 107-run partnership, during which Najibullah raced past his fifty.
Najibullah finished on 69, which came off 30 balls and included five boundaries and six sixes, while Nabi, who was dismissed by Chatara on the final ball of the innings, smashed an 18-ball 38, which included four sixes.
Thank to Najibullah and Nabi, Afghanistan finished on 197/5.
Chatara and Williams picked up two wickets apiece, while Ndlovu chipped in with one.
Chasing 198 to win, Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza only made three runs before he was run out by Gurbaz.
Brendan Taylor mustered 27 runs before being removed by Fareed Ahmed, who took out Williams two balls later.
Craig Ervine was trapped lbw off the bowling of Karim Janat for 10 runs, while Ryan Burl and Tinotenda Mutombodzi were both sent packing by Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan.
Neville Madviza made 15 runs before he was dismissed by Gulbadin Naib.
Even though Regis Chakabva walloped an unbeaten 42, which came off 22 balls and included three boundaries and two sixes, Zimbabwe fell well short of their target as they finished on 169/7.
Rashid and Fareed took two wickets apiece, while Naib and Janat claimed one wicket each.
Najibullah was named Man of the Match.