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Afghanistan whitewash Zimbabwe again

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BY Kevin Mapasure
Blessing Muzarabani’s commendable fight with the ball was all in vain as Zimbabwe suffered a four wicket defeat to Afghanistan in their third and final Super League One Day International series which also gave the tourists a whitewash victory.

The lanky seamer retained figures of two for 18 from 10 overs while Tendayi Chatara was also stingy conceding 32 runs while claiming two scalps from the same number of overs.

This helped Zimbabwe to six wickets in the tough task of trying to defend a low total of 135 after the visitors had won the toss.

Going into yesterday’s match the series was already lost for Zimbabwe, but because of the Super League points there was everything to fight for.

In the end it was Afghanistan who harvested all three points at stake in the series which took their tally to 100 points and into second place in the league, whose outcome will have a bearing on qualification to the 2023 World Cup in India.

The home side stayed on 35 points from 15 matches as its chances of clinching an automatic berth at the finals further dwindled.

Zimbabwe were soundly beaten in the first two matches by 60 runs in the first match and eight wickets in the second and needed a bid response yesterday especially with the bat.

Yet what followed after the toss was lost was an eyesore and if any of the home fans might have shuffled out of the stadium after Zimbabwe’s inning, they would have been forgiven.

Zimbabwe’s innings never got going and they soon found themselves on 45 for four after 15 overs and facing the grim prospect of failing to reach 100 runs.

Coach Lalchand Rajput had spoken to NewsDay Sport the day before demanding better display from his batters and he must have been disappointed to see the batsmen shuffling back to the hut one after the other and with their heads down.

It has been a particularly disappointing series for captain Craig Ervine who again yesterday fell cheaply coming without scoring.

Wessley Madhevere (5) had been promoted to open the batting with Innocent Kaia but that did not change his fortunes and he went first after he was bowled out Fazalhaq Farooqi.

Kaia was prolific either scoring 16 before he was trapped leg before by Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Dion Myers was brought into the team to replace Donald Tiripano but the move did not yield the desired results as he managed just three runs.

Sikandar Raza top scored with 38, Regis Chakabva had 15, Ryan Burl 21 and Milton Shumba 11 as Zimbabwe were bowled out in 44.5 overs.

Teams

Zimbabwe: Innocent Kaia, Wessley Madhevere, Craig Ervine, Dion Myers, Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva, Ryan Burl, Milton Shumba, Blessing Muzarabani, Tendai Chatara, Tanaka Chivanga

Afghanistan: RahamanullahGurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shaidi, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammed Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, Fazalhaq Farooq, Farid Malik

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