Afghanistan in Zimbabwe, 3 ODI Series, 2022 |1st ODI |6/4/2022 Harare Sports Club, Harare
Right then, that is all we have from the game. The visitors have taken a crucial 1-0 lead in the three-match series which makes the next match even more important for the hosts. The 2nd ODI will take place at the same venue on Monday, the 6th of June. That match will begin at 12.45 pm IST (7.15 am GMT) but our build-up will begin much sooner. Do join us then, take care and goodbye!
Rahmat Shah (94 off 120 balls) is the Player of the Match for his incredible hitting with the blade. On being asked about how the wicket played its part in this game, he responds by saying the wicket was not good to bat on in the initial overs but they knew the ball would come on easily post 30 overs. He adds that he stuck to his plan and that worked for him.
Afghanistan's captain, Hashmatullah Shahidi says it was a fantastic performance from the boys and in the morning it was difficult for them as the ball was swinging. Adds that the conditions suited the opposition bowlers and they bowled well but the chat between him and Rahmat Shah was to just stay on for as long as possible. Mentions that he will try to keep a check on the over rate and the 10 points make a big difference for them.
Craig Ervine, the skipper of Zimbabwe is in for a chat. He starts by saying he thought they started really well but the Afghans took the game away by the end of it. Further adds that they were excellent in patches but in some patches, they lagged behind and hopefully, they work on it in the next game. Mentions they kept losing wickets regularly which certainly remains to be the difference.
The presentation ceremony...
Earlier in the game, Afghanistan were put in to bat and after a difficult start, captain and vice-captain, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah put on a stellar partnership of 181 runs to lay down the platform and it was Rashid Khan who made full use of it at the death to propel his side to a big score of 276! It was Blessing Muzarabani who took a four-fer and just pulled back things a bit for the hosts. On a pitch that had quite a lot for the bowlers, this was always going to be a difficult chase and Zimbabwe didn't help their cause by losing wickets at regular intervals. They needed a substantial partnership that never came and for all the valiant effort put in by Sikandar Raza, the hosts were outclassed.
The visitors had a big total on the board and they just needed to have control with the ball up front and that is exactly what their pacers gave them. Both Fazalhaq Farooqi and Fareed Ahmad pitched the ball a lot further up and troubled the opposition with some swing. Afghanistan didn't get more than one wicket for a long time but the introduction of Mohammad Nabi completely changed the match and after he got a wicket off his first delivery, Nabi just didn't look back. Nabi ended up with four wickets and Rashid Khan as usual chipped in with a couple of wickets including that of Sikandar Raza at a crucial stage in the game. Apart from Mujeeb, all the other bowlers had a good outing. In the end, it was a brilliant all-round performance from the visitors to seal the game.
Just like Afghanistan, Zimbabwe too lost an early wicket and had a sedate start. The skipper, Craig Ervine did take on the mantle and after a tricky few overs started to look good. Just when a partnership was brewing between him and debutant Innocent Kaia, Ervine fell. The middle order then couldn't push on and it was a valiant effort from Sikandar Raza that gave the hosts a chance at victory. Raza though was dismissed after scoring a half-century and after that the tailenders just had too much to do.
A comprehensive win then for Afghanistan and this has been a really professional performance from them. The visitors take a 1-0 lead in this three-match series and lay down the foundation for the rest of the tour.
Fazalhaq Farooqi to Tendai Chatara, OUT! CAUGHT! This is banged in short and outside off. Tendai Chatara tries to uppercut it over the third man fence but doesn't get a good connection. Mohammad Nabi over there takes a simple catch and Zimbabwe get bundled out on the final delivery of the innings as Farooqi ends with 2 wickets. Afghanistan win by 60 runs!
Fazalhaq Farooqi to Tendai Chatara, Follows it up with a yorker on leg stump. Chatara keeps it out.
Fazalhaq Farooqi to Tendai Chatara, Fazalhaq Farooqi bends his back and digs in a short one over middle. Tendai Chatara manages to get his head out of the way.
Fazalhaq Farooqi to Tendai Chatara, Full and on off, Tendai Chatara manages to dig it out.
Fazalhaq Farooqi to Tendai Chatara, Length this time, around off and this is punched towards the cover region.
Fazalhaq Farooqi to Tendai Chatara, Full and outside off, all the pace is taken off the ball. Chatara fails to get any bat on it.
END OF OVER 49 | 0 Runs & 0 Wkt | ZIM 216/9
Fareed Ahmad to Tanaka Chivanga, Slower delivery around off, Tanaka Chivanga nudges it down to short third man. Wicket-maiden then from Fareed Ahmad.
Fareed Ahmad to Tanaka Chivanga, Full again, around off. Tanaka Chivanga pushes it out towards covers.
Fareed Ahmad to Tanaka Chivanga, Fullish ball around off, Chivanga looks to drive but misses.
Fareed Ahmad to Tanaka Chivanga, Length ball around off, this is punched towards covers.
Fareed Ahmad to Tanaka Chivanga, Tough chance, dropped! Full and straight, Tanaka Chivanga drills it straight back at the bowler who manages to stick out his hands but fails to pouch it on his followthrough.
Tanaka Chivanga is the last man in for Zimbabwe.
Fareed Ahmad to Blessing Muzarabani, OUT! BOWLED! You miss, I hit stuff from Fareed Ahmad and he is elated! Fareed bowls this one from around the wicket and bowls it slower. It is full and angled into middle. Blessing Muzarabani stays deep in his crease and looks to smoke it over long on but gets undone by the lack of pace. The ball crashes into the middle stump that goes flying.
END OF OVER 48 | 4 Runs & 1 Wkt | ZIM 216/8
Fazalhaq Farooqi to Blessing Muzarabani, Fuller in length and around middle, Muzarabani drives it through wide mid on and collects a single.