Zimbabwe v Afghanistan 1st ODI review: Zimbabwe secure a easy win in the series opener

Zimbabwe v Afghanistan 1st ODI review: Zimbabwe secure a easy win in the series opener

Zimbabwe secures an easy win in the series opener. (© JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Zimbabwe v Afghanistan 1st ODI review: Zimbabwe secures an easy win in the series opener: The young bowling trio of Wellington Masakadza, Luke Jongwe and Tendai Chisora put forth a stellar performance with the ball to help Zimbabwe win the 1st ODI very easily against Afghanistan.

It was expected that the aggressive Afghanistan side would dominate the relatively conservative Zimbabwe bowlers. But, they were in shock after being dealt blow after blow in the first innings by the Zimbabwe bowlers.

Afghanistan batsmen started in a very disappointing manner. Two quick wickets fell in the 6th over of the innings. Openers Noor Ali Zadran and Nawroz Mangal got out in the same over by Luke Jongwe. Wickets kept tumbling from thereon at regular intervals. Wellington Masakadza also struck twice in the 16th over when Afghanistan were already 52-3. Samiullah Shenwari (17) and Mohammed Nabi (0), both in-form batsmen departed one after the other. Tendai Chisoro came in and wiped off the tail-enders to end the Afghanistan innings at a paltry score of 122.

Only 3 batsmen managed to reach double-digit scores. The young Najibullah Zadran (25 runs) and Dawlat Zadran (25) were the highest scorers for Afghanistan. It was expected that the in-form wicket-keeper batsman Mohammed Shazad would help them get to a respectable score. However, he could only make 23 runs and turned out to be a failure today with the bat.

Masakadza playing only his 4th ODI claimed his career best 4/21. Luke Jongwe, who was the first bowler today to shake the Afghanistan batting line-up, ended with the figures of 3/16. Left-arm spinner Tendai Chisoro also picked 3/16.

In reply, Zimbabwe started cautiously. Openers Mutumbami and Chamu Chibhabha did not underrate the Afghanistan bowlers and were reluctant to hit them freely initially. Together, they built a fifty run partnership before Mutumbami fell to Aftab Alam in the 12th over just a couple of overs before the innings break.

Resuming play after lunch break, Amir Hamza struck in the 20th over. The well set Chibhabha (58) went back to the dressing room after compiling a patient half century.

With only 23 runs required to win the game, the game was easily in hosts Zimbabwe’s pocket. M. Mutombodzi pushed the accelerator and struck a boundary and six off the first two balls of the 23rd over to finish chase in a dominating way.

Afghanistan have to look forward and improve their batting if they want to make a comeback in the series. Newly appointed coach Inzamam-ul-Haq obviously met with disappoint today and today’s lacklustre performance means that he has some serious work to do in the Afghanistan camp.

Meanwhile from Zimbabwe’s point of view, the match will keep the morale high for the rest of the series to come. They would definitely like to keep the momentum upwards after comfortably winning the first ODI.

Brief Scores:

Afghanistan- 122/10, 34.1 overs (N. Zadran 25; Aftab Alam 1/21)

Zimbabwe- 126/2, 23.2 overs (Chamu Chibhabha 58; W. Masakadza 4/21)

Zimbabwe won by 8 wickets with 160 balls remaining

Man of the Match – WP Masakadza (Zimbabwe)