Zimbabwe A lost their third game on the trot yesterday to surrender the five-match unofficial one-day international cricket series against touring Afghanistan with two matches to be played.
BY Kevin Mapasure
Afghanistan A clinched a 20-run victory and with that win claimed the series, which is being played at Harare Sports Club.
Despite a spirited fight by the young Zimbabwe batting line-up, the 280-run victory target set by the Afghanistan A batsmen proved too big a task.
Opening batsman, Innocent Kaia scored a century (100), while Ryan Burl (70) hit his second half-ton of the series.
There was little else to talk about in the Zimbabwe A line-up, with Kaia and Burl doing a fine repair job after the hosts had fallen to 13-3.
The two put up a 157-run fourth wicket stand that was broken by the combination of Nasir Khan, who took the catch, and Zamir Khan to remove Burl, who had scored three fours and one six.
His wicket fell in the 40th over with Zimbabwe’s score on 170.
Before that, there had been an almighty scare that this would be one big embarrassment, as wickets fell in quick succession.
Kaia’s opening partner, Brian Chari, did not stick around for too long, as he lasted just 10 balls for his 10 runs while Tarisai Musakanmda and Peter Moor, who were both trapped leg before by Mohammad Ibrahim, had five and two runs, respectively.
After Burl’s departure, Ryan Murray tried to keep things alive, hitting a four and a six to accumulate 18 runs in 12 balls before he too perished.
In the last over, the hosts required 23 runs to clinch victory. They lost Nathan Waller to the first ball of that over after he had contributed 33 off 14 balls.
Earlier on, the tourists’ captain, Shafiq Ullah had done all the damage scoring 70 not out in just 23 balls where he cracked eight sixes and three fours.
In, in the 45th over with the score at 194 for four, he propelled Afghanistan to 279.