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21 September, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 21 September, 2019 02:29:47 AM
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Zimbabwe end Afghan winning streak

Md Abu Talha Sarker, Ctg
Zimbabwe end Afghan winning streak
Zimbabwean captain Hamilton Masakadza hits a boundary on his way to score a half century against Afghanistan during the tri-nation series match at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram yesterday. BCB Photo

Hamilton Masakadza’s cameo innings (42-ball 71) was complemented by Christopher Mpofu’s four-for that maneuvered Zimbabwe to script a seven-wicket consolation win over marauding Afghanistan in their fourth and last league-round match at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium (ZACS) in Chattogram yesterday. This was maiden T20 International victory for Zimbabwe over Afghanistan, who ended their 12-match winning record by losing the tie. Zimbabwe started their chase in style when opener Brendan Taylor clouted an eye-catching 80-meter six over long-on after sweeping a boundary at short fine-leg in the initial two successive delivery of Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s first over. But it is Mujeeb, who hastened Taylor’s departure for 19 when the wicketkeeper-batsman tried to hit a length delivery of off-break bowler but failed to clear Najibullah Zadran at deep mid-wicket. Since then, captain Hamilton Masakadza, who received guard of honour from his teammates while coming to play his last game, took the steer on his shoulder and launched a ruthless aggression over Afghan’s dominating bowler.

The Zimbabwean stalwart struck four or six in almost every over during his stay. He brought up his fifty from just 27 balls while the dugout stood in applause whose resonation was seen at gallery’s sparse local home crowd.  

Dawlat Zardan ended Masakaza’s farewell bash when captain miscued the ball up in the air and Mohammad Nabi comfortably palmed it at long-on. Finally, his knock ended on 71 off 42 that set the platform for Zimbabwe to cruise home. His entertaining innings was studded with five sixes and four fours. When he walked back to the pavilion, the Afghan players run over to congratulate him as the curtains come down on his 18-year international career.

Masakadza, who played the highest number of 65 T20 Internationals for Zimbabwe missed only four of Zimbabwe’s 69 T20Is, all in 2015. He is also their highest run-getter (1,662 off 66) in the shorter format of the game.

The right-handed batsman played 209 ODI, where he scored 5,658 with the highest of 178 not out. He smacked five hundreds and 34 half-centuries in his 18-year-long career. He also played 38 Tests, where scored 2223 with the best figure of 158.

The right-hander played 209 ODI, where he scored 5,658 with the highest of 178 not out. He smacked five hundreds and 34 half-centuries in his 18-year-long career. The 36-year-old also played 38 Tests, where chalked up 2223 with the best figure of 158.

Regis Chakabva then made a useful contribution of 32-ball 39 that placed them closed-door of victory as they had needed a run-a-ball 17. Sean Williams slotted home with seven wickets and three balls to spare. Williams remained stranded at 21 with Tinotenda Mutombodzi scoring one.      

Earlier, buoyed by repeated success, Afghanistan made a gusty start with some dazzling strokes through their opening stand of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai after captain Rashid Khan opted to bat on Chattogram surface which was conducive to batting what they properly cashed in with their power-hitting instinct.

The flamboyant Twenty20 side mislaid their first wicket in the 10th over before that they lambasted Zimbabwean bowlers at will and put on an excellent score of 83 on the board. Zazai caught out by Richmond Mutumbami off Tinotenda Mutombodzi after scoring 31. He smacked two big shots over the boundary and three shots across the rope in his 24-ball stand at wicket.

By then, Gurbaz took up the steering of scoring wheel and notched up his maiden Twenty20 fifty with a whopping six when he nudged Christopher Mpofu’s slower delivery towards square leg.

Finally, Sean Williams rattled opener Gurbaz when he failed to put any bat to it that smashed the stumps with force. The opener thrashed 47-ball 61, hitting four maximums and as many boundaries before the dismissal of Shafiqullah Shafaq who got out for 16 off 13, laced with a maximum and as many boundaries.

At this stage, Zimbabwean bowlers put the brakes on Afghanistan’s scoring spree as they lost four wickets in four successive overs. The batting collapse was initiated since 13th over with Shafiqullah Shafaq and ended with Najibullah Zadran, who holed out for four.

Christopher Mpofu, who was the most successful bowler, halted Afghan’s progress at 155-8 with his four-for.

The right-arm medium fast-bowler accounted for Asghar Afghan and Fazal Niazai after Shafiqullah and Mohamamd Nabi. He finished his bowling with the figures of 30-4 and was named player of the match for his outstanding bowling performance.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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