Mohammadi stars in Afghanistan’s 2nd ODI triumph
The wicket-keeping batsman remained not out at a record-breaking131, a milestone crossed by no Afghan batsman so far, the Afghanistan Cricket Board spokesman, Farid Hotak, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
As a result of the four-wicket victory, Afghanistan have gone two up in the five-ODI series against the Test-playing nation. In the opening encounter on Friday, the national side had chalked up a 49-run win.
Electing to bat first at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the UAE, the opposition took a cautious start before building up the momentum. But accurate bowling in the middle overs restricted the Zimbabweans to 253 in the stipulated 50 overs.
Dawlat Zadran, Mohammad Nabi and Rokhan Barakzai bagged two wickets each to apply brakes on Zimbabwe’s run-scoring tempo, Hotak said, commending the bowlers for holding their nerve in challenging circumstances.
Afghanistan were off to a flying start, thanks to intelligent batting by openers Noor Ali Zadran and Mohammad Nabi, who chipped in with 31 and 33 runs respectively before being sent back to the pavilion, the ACB spokesman said.
But Nabi’s exit triggered a top-order collapse that saw Nawroz Mangal, Asghar Stanikzai, Samiullah Shinwari and Najibullah Zadran being dismissed cheaply. At this point in the run chase, the chips were apparently down for the Afghans.
However, Mohammadi displayed remarkable grit in taming the opposition bowlers -- an innings that earned him the man of the match award. He was lent solid support by Mirwais Ashraf, who contributed 26 runs, as the pair provided their side with an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 56.
The Afghans raced to the 254-run target with 14 balls to spare. The two teams will play three more one-day and two Twenty20 matches at the same venue before next year’s ICC Twenty20 World Cup.
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