Raza, Williams lead Zimbabwe to six-wicket win

Afghanistan

Zimbabwe emerged six-wicket victors over Afghanistan in the first ODI in Bulawayo on Friday, reaching the 224 required with 28 balls to spare thanks to an all-round top-order effort.

Zimbabwe emerged six-wicket victors over Afghanistan in the first ODI in Bulawayo on Friday, reaching the 224 required with 28 balls to spare thanks to an all-round top-order effort.

Zimbabwe won the toss and chose to field first, and the Afghans were soon a man down as Usman Ghani departed for a duck in the second over. they lost regular wickets from there, despite some resistance.

Opener Noor Ali Zadran contributed 43 before being run out in the 36th over, but the rest of the top order could only manage low scores. Samiullah Shenwari was the top scorer, making 65 not out.

Mohammed Nabi added 54 off just 36 balls to up the pace in the middle overs, while the bowlers shared the spoils. Donald Tiripano and Tendai Chatara took two wickets each, while Tenashe Panyangara and Prosper Utseya bagged one apiece.

After restricting the visitors to 223 for nine, the hosts made hard work of the chase initially. They lost Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza in the first 10 overs, batting at less than three to the over.

But then skipper Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza batted together to take the score to 120 for three when Taylor fell for 43. Raza then joined forces with Sean Williams, who smacked a quick 70 to almost see the side home.

Williams' half ton came off 65 balls and saw the innings' only six struck, as well as eight fours. He was caught and bowled by Mohammed Nabi, leaving Raza and Elton Chigumbura (39 not out) to see the game to the end.

<b>Zimbabwe:</b> Vusi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor, Elton Chigumbura, Sean Williams, Prosper Utseya, Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva, Tinashe Panyangara, Donald Tiripano, Tendai Chatara.

<b>Afghanistan:</b> Asghar Stanikzai, Usman Ghani, Noor Ali Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Mirwais Ashraf, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran, Hashmatullah Shaidi, Shafiqullah, Shapoor Zadran.

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