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Afghanistan seal close 12-run win after rain arrives

Asghar Stanikzai was the only batsman to score a fifty in the game
Asghar Stanikzai was the only batsman to score a fifty in the game

Afghanistan 215 (Stanikzai 50) beat
Zimbabwe 99-4 (Ervine 38no) by 12 runs D/L
First One-Day International in Harare

Afghanistan held their nerve as they secured a 12-run by DLS method after rain brought a premature end to the first One-Day International against Zimbabwe in Harare.

Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bat first despite rain around. Mohammad Shahzad (8) started the innings with a couple of boundaries but was dismissed in the second over to hand maiden ODI wicket for Richard Ngarava (1-39).

Noor Ali Zadran (39) and Rahmat Shah (31) played with a lot of caution as they ended the powerplay at 28 for one.

Just after reaching the 50-run stand, Shah was dropped by Chris Mpofu (2-45) off his own bowling in the 18th over but Graeme Cremer (2-45) struck twice in quick succession to remove both the set batsmen.

Afghanistan crossed the 100-run mark in 27 overs and with contributions from Asghar Stanikzai (50) and Rashid Khan (32), the visitors went on to post 215 before they were dismissed in 49.2 overs. Cremer was the pick of Zimbabwe bowlers with a three-wicket haul.

Peter Moor (18) started the chase positively with three boundaries in as many overs. However, Afghanistan bounced back strongly by dismissing Moor, comeback man Solomon Mire (2) and Sikandar Raza (12) inside 15 overs with score reading 44 runs.

Craig Ervine (38 not out) and debutant Ryan Burl (28) tried to keep Zimbabwe in the hunt but Rashid (1-17) trapped the latter LBW in 28th over following which rain lashed out in Harare, allowing no further play possible.

Afghanistan secured a 12-run win by DLS method and took a 1-0 lead in the series with Stanikzai bagging the player of the match.

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