AFG vs ZIM: Afghanistan Clinches Another Victory, 2-0 Ahead in T20I series

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ZIM vs AFG Match Highlights
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ZIM vs AFG Match Highlights:

Afghanistan extended their winning streak to five games on their Zimbabwe tour, clinching the three-match T20I series with a game to spare on Sunday. The visitors won the game by a decisive 21-run victory. In the previous ODIs, Afghanistan had thrashed Zimbabwe 3-0.

As Afghanistan produced 170/5 from their 20 overs, Najibullah Zadran’s 46-ball 57 was the best performance, with impactful supporting cameos from opener Hazratullah Zazai and skipper Mohammad Nabi. The home team’s chase never really got going, with opener Innocent Kaia scoring 54 off 57 balls to put further pressure on the rest of the batting line-up before being removed off the penultimate ball. So much so that even a four-six Sikandar Raza counterattack couldn’t make up for it.

Even after giving away early wickets, Afghanistan’s total score read 51 for 3 after the end of the powerplay. However, with Dawish Rasooli injured after slamming two fours off Donald Tiripano in three deliveries, Zadran dropped anchor to avoid a collapse. In the next 7.1 overs, he contributed 42 runs with Karim Janat. The latter, on the other hand, had a rough stay in the middle, lasting 18 deliveries before succumbing to Ryan Burl’s slog. Before firing up, Zadran and Nabi led Afghanistan past the 100-run mark in the 15th over. With a lofted four, the former reached his 39-ball fifty, while Nabi hit a couple of sixes off Raza and Tiripano, and even got life off the second pull at deep midwicket. Zadran was also dropped on 54, but only managed to collect three runs before succumbing at the start of the final over. Meanwhile, Nabi fired two-slot balls into the stands to give the visitors a solid finish.

From the start, Zimbabwe’s response lacked intention. To make matters worse, Fazalhaq Farooqi dismissed Wesley Madhevere with a slower ball. Tadiwanashe Marumani’s four and a six in the powerplay gave them a comfortable 38/1. The fifty came up late in the chase, in the ninth over, and Zimbabwe were only 65/2 at the midway point, with Marumani gifting Nabi a return catch after a 22-ball 30. The seasoned Rashid was next in line, slamming two sixes in the 15th over to send Zimbabwe to triple digits. As Zimbabwe appeared to be making a late bid for series parity, Azmatullah Omarzai received similar treatment in the 16th over. Rashid recovered to alleviate the situation with a brilliant googly to outfox Raza for a 21-ball 41 and Burl on a second-ball duck with 42 required off the last three balls. Despite Kaia’s fifty, Zimbabwe came up short in their attempt to make up for a sluggish start losing the match by 21 runs.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Fazalhaq Farooqi

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