Afghanistan pull one back against Zim

Afghanistan

Afghanistan won just their second ODI against a Test-playing nation, beating Zimbabwe by two wickets in the third ODI in Bulawayo on Tuesday, pulling the series back to two-one.

Afghanistan won just their second ODI against a Test-playing nation, beating Zimbabwe by two wickets in the third ODI in Bulawayo on Tuesday, pulling the series back to two-one.

The Afghans had beaten Bangladesh earlier in the year, so the win was a big one for them as the hosts were leading the four-ODI series by two already. Dawlat Zadran hit a big six to win the game with two balls to spare.

Zimbabwe batted first and scored 261 for eight, with Hamilton Masakadza cracking an impressive 84, and skipper Brendan Taylor making 53 before being run out. Second ODI star Sikandar Raza was out for 11 early on.

Zim would have been disappointed with their score, even with Sean Williams adding 49 later in the knock, as at one stage they had been rollicking along at five to the over. They lost four wickets in the last five overs to slow their momentum.

Dawlat Zadran was Afghanistan's key bowler, bagging Malcolm Waller for 15 and Raza's wicket too, while Aftab Alam also took two wickets.

The chase was an up and down one, but started off well. Javed Ahmadi and Usman Ghani went at 10 to the over early on, putting on 83 together in 13.2 overs. Javed scored a half century, while Ghani made 43 before being bagged by Williams.

Noor Ali Zadran was then out for a duck to Natsai Mushangwe, who also removed Samiullah Shenwari later on, for 41. The visitors did a good job of getting a few middling scores to keep the rate where it should have been.

Things got very sense in the last five overs, when Mohammad Nabi made 42 but fell as the score crept closer to the target. They then needed seven runs off the last over, and Dawlat hit the last of his four sixes to win the game.

The fourth and final game will be played in Bulawayo on 24 July.

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