Afghanistan 158 for 9 (Nabi 45, Chatara 3-20) beat Zimbabwe 141 for 5 (Raza 40, Burl 30, Mujeeb 2-21) by 17 runs
Afghanistan completed a 2-0 series win in Sharjah after beating Zimbabwe – for the second time in two nights – by 17 runs. Mohammad Nabi‘s second straight forty-plus score (which also translated to a second straight Man-of-the-Match award), together with useful twenties from Karim Sadiq (30-ball 28), Asghar Stanikzai (14-ball 27) and Najibullah Zadran (18-ball 24) helped Afghanistan post 158 for 9. Thereafter, regular wickets from Mujeeb Zadran and Rashid Khan ensured that Zimbabwe could only finish on 141 for 5 in their chase.
At one stage Afghanistan looked set to post a much bigger total, but a collapse across their last two overs held them back. Stanikzai and Sadiq began Afghanistan’s charge early on with a 56-run second-wicket stand, which was followed up by Nabi and Najibullah’s 51-run stand for the fourth wicket. With Afghanistan eyeing the 180-run mark with two overs to go, however, they lost five wickets in the space of ten balls. Tendai Chatara and Kyle Jarvis (2 for 22) were the successful bowlers at the death, sharing five wickets between them as Afghanistan managed to get only three runs off their last 12 balls.
In their chase, Zimbabwe lost opener Solomon Mire for 2, but Hamilton Masakadza with a 29-ball 30 and Brendan Taylor (16-ball 15) looked like settling in. Masakadza, however, perished to Mujeeb Zadran’s spin in the seventh over, while Taylor – snagged by Nabi – joined him back in the pavilion not long after. With Zimbabwe needing 100 runs off the final ten overs, Sikandar Raza took over, smacking five fours and a six in a 53-run fourth-wicket stand with Ryan Burl (run-a-ball 30) but was trapped lbw to Rashid Khan in the 17th over. The score read 111 for 4 at that stage, with Zimbabwe needing another 48 runs to win; the task was too much for their middle order.
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