BSP-22 Masakadza leads Zimbabwe to victory against Afghans in his farewell match

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BSP-22

CRICKET-AFG-ZIM-MATCH-REPORT

Masakadza leads Zimbabwe to victory against Afghans in his farewell match

CHATTOGRAM, Sept 20, 2019 (BSS)- Hamilton Masakadza himself scripted his
fitting farewell from the International cricket when he smashed a 42 ball-71
to seal Zimbabwe’s seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in their last match
in the Tri-nation T20 series on Friday at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium
in Chattogram.

By virtue of this victory, Zimbabwe got the maiden T20 victory over
Afghans, ending their eight-match winning streak and also restored some
pride, bowing out the tournament with a victory in four matches.

In a match that was just an academic interest following Zimbabwe’s
elimination from the final race, Afghan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz smashed a
47 ball-61 to help the side amass 155-8 and it looked a winning score in a
pitch that was getting slower.

Zimbabwe earlier lost three straight matches in the tournament, paving the
way of Bangladesh-Afghanistan final.

But Masakadza was determined to make his last match remarkable one. For
one last time, he came up all guns blazing to help the side overhaul the
target with 156-3 in 19.3 overs.

Masakadza stitched two important partnership two take the side on the
verge of victory-40 with Brendan Taylor for the opening stand and a match-
winning 70-run partnership with Regis Chakabva for the second wicket before
Dawlat Zadran got him, caught by Mohammad Nabi at long-on.

By then he struck four fours and five massive sixes. Taylor scored 19.

Chakabva kept the runs flowing hitting 39 off 32 before being dismissed by
Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Sean Williams remained unbeaten on 21 before pulling away
one towards the fine leg for a single to seal the deal.

Earlier, Gurbaz gave Afghanistan the solid platform after his captain
Rashid Khan opted to bat first.

But Zimbabwe came back strongly in the match half-way through innings with
a flurry of wickets when it appeared that Afghans would end up scoring closer
to 200.

Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai combined for an 83-run partnership in just
9.3 overs to indicate a big score.

Zazai scored 31 off 24 before Tinotenda Mutumbodzi had him caught by
Richmond Mutumbami to give the side a much-needed breakthrough.

Mutumbodzi then bowled in disciplined way to stifle the Afghans power-
packed batting line up.

But Gurbaz continued his onslaught. It needed an excellent bowling from
Sean Williams to rattle his stump and subsequently curbed the aggression of
the Afghans batsman.

Christopher Mpofu then sliced out the Afghans middle order in a show of
excellent bowling and finally ended with his career best 4-30.

Afghanistan batsmen, however, didn’t help their cause by playing a forced
shot when the pitch was getting slower considerably.

Shafiqullah Shafiq was the other notable scorer with 16 while debutant
Fazal Niazai scored 12.

Apart from Mpofu’s four-for, Mutumbodzi ended with 2-18, also his career
best bowling.

Afghanistan will take on Bangladesh tomorrow in the dress rehearsal of
final which is on September 24 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium
in Dhaka.

BSS/SMP/SSS/2157 hrs