About the Match
One of the most interesting things about a series between two relatively evenly matched, yet unpredictable, teams is that you get to see some of the most fascinating matches played out. This is exactly what happened between Zimbabwe and Afghanistan in the third ODI. Will the fourth ODI be similar in excitement?
4th ODI Preview
The home team managed to stay alive in the series when everything seemed to be lost. Batting first, they managed to score only a paltry 130 and looked dead and buried. However, if there was a time to use the old cliché ‘it’s not over till it’s over’ then that’s now.
Thanks to a collapse of unprecedented natures, Zimbabwe managed to take the last five Afghan wickets for five runs and won its first match of the series. They would be happy that they still have a chance to win this series but be keenly aware that they need to improve in almost every facet of their game rapidly.
The Zimbabwe total of 129 has a high score of 60 from Musakanda followed by 36 not out from Waller. Take the extras out and all other batsmen combined to score 23 runs. The hosts were aware that they were taking a risk by picking such a young side but this is unacceptable at this level of cricket and would serve as a wake-up call to the Zimbabwe cricket authorities.
It is difficult to pick out a potential top scorer in such a batting lineup but we think that Sean Williams could be the player t stand up and be counted in the upcoming match.
The bowling was led by three wickets each for Chatara, Mpofu, and Williams. Back Chatara to continue to be in the wickets as the series progresses.
It is difficult to realize sometimes just how long some of the Afghan players have been around for when you see them commit such brain fades in the middle. This was a match that they should have won every single time but somehow conspired to lose.
It remains to be seen what the effect of this defeat will be on their morale and confidence but they would be very disappointed to see six of their players get into double figures and not be able to see their side home to a paltry target.
Stanikzai and Shenwari were the set batsmen at the crease before things started to go south and should take the majority of the blame. We think a change at the top of the order may be in the offing and maybe a promotion for Nabi to help stabilize the innings.
Back Stankizai to be the top scorer once again while Rashid Khan remains the best bet to take the most wickets in the upcoming match.
The pitch seems to be taking turn more and more as the matches at the Harare Sports Club are progressing and this should give the Afghans an advantage. Zimbabwe will be buoyed by this victory and believe they can beat the Afghans but we think the tourists have the necessary talent to hold off a comeback and seal the series in this fourth match.
Back Afghanistan To Win