Rashid, Mujeeb combine to secure 2-0 victory

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, 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, after which 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 meant the team could only finish on 158. Stanikzai and Sadiq began Afghanistan’s charge early on with a 56-run second-wicket stand, which was followed up by Nabi and Zadran’s 51-run stand for the fourth wicket. But with Afghanistan eyeing the 180-run mark with two overs to go, they lost five wickets in the space of ten balls. Tendai Chatara (3 for 20) and Kyle Jarvis (2 for 22) were the bowlers at the death, with the duo sharing five wickets between them as Afghanistan managed to add only two runs off their last 12 balls.

In their chase, Zimbabwe lost opener Solomon Mire for 2, but Hamilton Masakadza made a 29-ball 30 with Brendan Taylor (16-ball 15) by his side thereafter. Masakadza, however, perished to Mujeeb Zadran’s spin in the seventh over, while Taylor joined him in the pavillion soon as well. 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, and with Zimbabwe needing another 48 runs to win, the ask was too much for their middle order unless the set Burl managed to see them through. That, however, did not happen as Aftab Alam returned with a tight 18th over, after which Burl holed out to Rashid in the 19th. With two new men – Malcolm Waller and Peter Moor – at the crease, Zimbabwe managed to bat out the remainder of their innings, but eventually fell 17 runs short.

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