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Afghanistan Clinch Thrilling Win

Dawlat Zadran, Samiullah Shenwari
Dawlat Zadran (right) thumped four sixes as Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe in Bulawayo
©REUTERS / Action Images

Afghanistan 264-8 (Javed Ahmadi 56) beat
Zimbabwe 261-8 (Masakadza 84) by two wickets
Third One-Day International, Bulawayo

Afghanistan left it late to haul themselves back into their One-Day International series against Zimbabwe with a two-wicket win in the third match in Bulawayo.

From needing four runs in four balls to overhaul Zimbabwe's score of 261 for eight, Dawlat Zadran hit the fourth ball of the final over for six to complete a two-wicket win.

He hit three other maximums to take the game down to the wire after Javed Ahmadi made 56, Usman Ghani 43 and Mohammad Nabi 42.

Earlier, half-centuries from Hamilton Masakadza (84) and Brendan Taylor (53) looked to be putting Zimbabwe on course for a huge score before Afghanistan fought back.

Masakadza hit nine fours and two sixes in 93 balls while Taylor (53 in 79) and Sean Williams (49 in 54) helped the hosts overcome the early departure of Sikandar Raza for 11.

Masakadza and Taylor put on 109 together for the second wicket before wickets began to fall more regularly, hampering Zimbabwe's chances.

Zadran and Aftab Alam took two wickets apiece while Sharifuddin Ashraf and Nabi took one each.

Afghanistan made a fine start to their run chase with young opening pair Ghani and Ahmadi putting on 83 together until Ghani, Noor Ali Zadran (0) and Ahmadi fell in quick succession to leave them at 112 for three.

Samiullah Shenwari made 41 in 70 balls and Nasir Jamal 28 in 49 balls but as the asking rate climbed, Afghanistan's chances looked to have gone.

However, Nabi started the fightback with 42 in 40 balls and after Shafiqullah (3) and Ashraf (14) fell cheaply, Zadran finished things off in style with an unbeaten 24 in seven balls.

For Zimbabwe, who now lead the series 2-1 ahead of the final game on 24th July, Wililams and Natsai Mushangwe grabbed a brace of wickets and Malcolm Waller took one.

© Cricket World 2014