Afghanistan Win Azizi Bank ODI Cup against Zimbabwe

Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe by 146 runs in the final ODI of Azizi Bank Cup to win the series 4-1. Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat first on the batting friendly surface.

The opening partnership between Javed Ahmadi and Mohammad Shahzad was a short one as Mohammad Shahzad was out amid a great catch by Waller. Afghanistan were back on track through a stable partnership between Ahmadi and an in-form Rahmat Shah as both the batsmen scored half-centuries. The partnership was eventually broken when Rahmat Shah was out on 59. Javed Ahmadi went on to score 75 runs before being run out by Tendai Chisoro.

A crucial partnership for the eight wicket between Rashid Khan and Sharafudin Ashrafi helped Afghanistan post a decent total after they lost wickets in quick succession earlier. Rashid Khan, in particular batted impressively scoring 43 runs from 29 balls which included three fours and three sixes. He lost his wicket at the very last ball of the innings as Afghanistan posted a total of 241 runs for the loss of 9 wickets. Thus setting a target of 242 runs for Zimbabwe to chase in the allotted 50 overs.

Coming to bat for the second innings, Zimbabwe lost its first wicket early as Hamilton Masakadza was run out by Nasir Jamal. TK Musakanda was next to go as he was caught by Javed Ahmad off Shapoor Zadran both of whom played their first match of the series.

Brendon Taylor and Craig Ervin put on a decent partnership of 46 runs for the third wicket before Taylor was trapped LBW by Sharafudin Ashraf who also accounted for Sikandar Raza. Zimbabwe continued to lose wickets as Mohammad Nabi took two wickets in two balls dismissing MN Waller and Solomon Mire. Rashid Khan continued his superb form as he took the rest of the wickets and Zimbabwe were all out for 95 runs in the 33rd over which meant that Afghanistan won the match by 146 runs.

Sharafudin Ashraf was named the player of the match for his all-round performance. Rashid Khan was rewarded for his 16 wickets at an amazing average of 7.93 in the series as he was named the best bowler as well as the player of the series. Rahmat Shah earned the best batsman award for his consistent batting throughout the series scoring 272 runs.