Sharjah — It seemed that a batting collapse from Afghanistan had handed Zimbabwe an opportunity to win the fifth one-day international (ODI), but a rearguard action from Rashid Khan and their own capitulation saw them fall short again.
Afghanistan yesterday won the toss and elected to bat first, they got off to a good start despite losing Mohammad Shahzad (2) early to Blessing Muzarabani (2/44).
Opener, Javed Ahmadi and number three Rahmat Shah put on 129 for the second wicket to leave Afghanistan well placed at 142 for 2.
The departure of Shah (59) and Ahmadi (76) sparked a collapse with Sikandar Raza (2/41), Tendai Chatara (2/42), Tendai Chisoro (1/55) and Graeme Cremer (1/42) helping to reduce Afghanistan to 177 for 7. Rashid Khan (43) rescued things, putting on 51 with Sharafuddin Ashraf to take them to 228 for 8 with Khan eventually falling in the final over as Afghanistan reached 241/6 in their 50 overs.
Zimbabwe lost their openers, Hamilton Masakadza (7) and Tarisai Musakanda (11) early on, but Brendan Taylor (27) and Craig Ervine steadied matters moving Zimbabwe to 72 for 2.
But then came another collapse this time triggered by Sharafuddin (2/15), who accounted for Taylor before snaffling the scalp of Sikandar Raza (1) in the very next over.
The next over, the 22nd of the innings, saw Mohammed Nabi (2/26) remove both Malcolm Waller (0) and Solomon Mire (0) for ducks.
At the conclusion of the 30th over young Mujeeb Zadran snuffed out Zimababwe’s slim hopes when he castled Ervine (34) to leave the tourists 95 for 7.
Rashid (3/13) then got in on the act with the ball snapping up Cremer (8) and Chatara (0) in quick succession before sealing the win by bowling number 11 Muzarabani (0). The win means Afghanistan take the series 4-1, a huge boost ahead of the World Cup qualifiers, which Zimbabwe will host.