Zimababwe: 153-5(Raza 59, Chibhabha 54)
Afghanistan: 154-4(Najibullah, Nabi 33*)
Result: Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe by six wickets
Cool and Calm!
The Afghan boys are on fire! Boy! Have we found a new star in World Cricket? Has the “Inzamam ul Haq” effect finally kicked in? First the stunning comeback in the One Day series, and then an amazing win in the first T20! Team Afghanistan is on a role!
Afghanistan stormed to a crushing 6 wicket victory over hosts Zimbabwe in the opening T20 match of the series. The match was also the first ever meeting between the two sides, when it comes to the shortest version of the game. Mohammad Nabi was once again one of the stars of the show at Queens Sports Club, after an unbeaten 33 by him partnered with Najibullah Zadran, as the duo regisetered a match winning 69 run stand.
The Afghanistan victory was an emphatic one in the end, and it was a team effort too. Victory was achieved with 5 balls to go. Not to mention, their bowlers did a brilliant job to restrict the Zimababwe batsmen to 153, after the hosts got off to a flier via both their openers scoring a half century each. Zimbabwe crossed the 100 mark in only the 13th over, and at that stage, a score of 180 looked a serious possibility.
However, Dawlat Zadran had plans of his own, as the Afghanistan fast bowlers rained yorkers. Zadran’s laser like yorkers hampered the highly threatening Zimbabwe charge and picked up three wickets, two of which came in back to back deliveries. Zadran’s effort with the ball right at the death, gave the Afghan boys momentum for the first time in the game and allowed them to set a gettable target for their batsmen.
Times are indeed exciting if you’re an Afghanistan supporter. Ever since Pakistan legend Inzamam ul Haq took over as team manager, the players have grouped to display some of the most outstanding talent in the history of Afghan cricket. Is the “Inzi Effect” going to lead Afghanistan to a 2-0 whitewash win over the Zimbabweans ? The second and final T20 game is to be played on October 28th, in Bulawayo.