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Zimbabwe won the 2nd ODI by 154 runs to draw level 1-1 in the series against Afghanistan; the two teams will now fight it out in the 3rd ODI at Sharjah on 13th February. Having lost the T20 series and the opening match of the ODIs, Zimbabwe did well to make a much-needed comeback, and they will now try to continue with their winning momentum. Afghanistan got a taste of its own medicine in the 2nd ODI, as they failed to chase down a target of 334 runs against Zimbabwe, which was ironically what they had inflicted upon their opponents in the first match.
Chasing 334 runs in the 2nd ODI, the top-order collapsed and except for Rahmat Shah, who posted a heroic 43 off 61, the others failed to make an impression. Mohammad Nabi and Dawlat Zadran tried to put up a fight by scoring 31 and 47 runs respectively, but they were all-out for 179 runs. Earlier, spinners Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman took 3 wickets between them while pacer Gulbadin Naib dismissed one opponent, but they couldn’t stop the Zimbabwe batsmen from smashing runs across the park.
In the first match, Rahmat Shah helped secure a strong total of 333 by posting a well-made 114. He got good support from Ihsanullah and Najibullah Zadran, who scored 54 and 81 runs respectively. Mohammad Shahzad and Nasir Jamal pitched in with 30+ runs each, and the bowlers then successfully defended the total by stifling Zimbabwe at 179 all-out. In-form spinner Rashid Khan took 4-26 while Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Rahmat Shah and Nabi contributed with 4 wickets between them. Pacers Gulbadin Naib and Dawlat Zadran provided a breakthrough each and they won hands down by 154 runs.
Afghanistan has good resources to make a comeback and they will be eager to avenge their humiliating defeat here on Tuesday.
M Shahzad, Ihsanullah, R Shah, MA Stanikzai, Nasir Jamal, N Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Zadran.
They put up a sensational contest and a direct reversal of the outcome in the first match, taking a fitting revenge against Afghanistan by winning the 2nd ODI by 154 runs. The bowlers wiped out Afghanistan for 179 runs after posting a humungous 333 runs, handing them their 2nd biggest ODI defeat, and this victory has surely boosted the morale of the players.
Fast-bowler Tendai Chatara’s superb 3-24 and spinner Graeme Cremer’s determined 4-41 stifled the Afghani batsmen, steering their team to a comfortable win. Blessing Muzurabani and Brian Vitori took 3 wickets between them, and they bring depth to the attack.
Batting first in the last match, experienced batsman and wicket-keeper Brendan Taylor showcased his prowess by posting a well-made 125 while all-rounder Sikandar Raza scored 92 off 74 deliveries. Hamilton Masakadza showed improvement with the bat as he contributed with 48 runs to get the scoreboard moving while Malcolm Waller played a useful knock. They combined well to post 333 and help secure a fine win on Sunday to draw level.
Solomon Mire, Hamilton Masakadza, BRM Taylor, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Malcolm Waller, Ryan Burl, Graeme Cremer, BV Vitori, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani.
The series is now equally poised between the two associate nations, and whichever team can keep a cool head above its shoulders will be better placed to win. While Afghanistan has done consistently well till now, we feel that Zimbabwe’s experienced batsmen could give them the edge to emerge victorious.