Afghanistan create history, clinch Zimbabwe series 3-2
By virtue of winning the last match of the series, the visitors emerged as the first-ever associate nation to outplay a Test-playing country. Afghanistan scored a comprehensive 73-run win over the hosts in the final ODI.
Zimbabwe won the toss and put the tourists in to bat first in the last encounter, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) spokesman Farid Hotak told Pajhwok Afghan News over the telephone from Bulawayo.
The tourists were off to a flying start, thanks to Noor Ali Zadran’s superb knock of 54 runs -- his second consecutive half-century -- and ex-skipper Mohammad Nabi Esakhel’s 53. After the pair’s departure, Afghanistan saw a mid-innings collapse.
However, Hotak said, the national side still managed to post a total of 245 runs for the loss of nine wickets in the stipulated 50 overs. Captain Asghar Stanikzai chipped in with 38 and Mohammad Shahzad 25.Mirwais Ashraf contributed 21 runs.
Pacer Dawlat Zadran captured four wickets while left-arm spinner Amir Hamza claimed three scalps to power Afghanistan to the 73-run triumph. Taking an embarrassingly shaky start, Zimbabwe collapsed to 15 for three.
Set a 246-run target, Zimbabwe was bundled out for 172 in the 45th over despite Sean Williams’s century (102 off 124 balls). He smashed three boundaries and four sixes, but ran out of partners, and saw his side humiliated.
Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah, ACB top brass including Nasimullah Danish and Shafiqullah Stanikzai, acting Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal and other high-ups congratulated the team on their epoch-making performance.
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