Afghanistan Tie Series With 100-Run Win
Afghanistan 259 (Shafiqullah 56, Tripano 5-63) beat
Zimbabwe 159 (Mulumbani 64) by 100 runs
Fourth One-Day International, Bulawayo
Afghanistan completed a memorable comeback to tie their four-match One-Day International series against Zimbabwe with a comprehensive 100-run win in the fourth and final game in Bulawayo.
After losing the first two matches, Afghanistan won the third by one wicket in a dramatic finish, but here they reduced Zimbabwe to 29 for six having set them 260 to win, going on to win by dismissing them for 159 in 38 overs.
Shafiqullah hit 56 to top score for the tourists, who made 259 before being bowled out in 49.1 overs, while Donald Tripano's maiden five-wicket haul proved to be in vain.
A fighting 64 from Richmond Mutumbami was as good as it got for Zimbabwe as they could not recover after losing four wickets with the score on 29.
Sharafuddin Ashraf took three wickets as Aftab Alam and Dawlat Zadran picked up a brace of wickets as Afghanistan completed their third victory over a Full Member in an ODI (Bangladesh during the Asia Cup being the other) this year.
Batting first, they did not make an altogether convincing start, slipping to 62 for three as Tripano removed openers Javed Ahmadi (7) and Usman Ghani (14) with Gulbodin Naib falling to Shingirai Masakadza for 13.
Nasir Jamal (39), Samiullah Shenwari (40) and Mohammad Nabi (37) then gave the innings a platform, enabling Shafiqullah to hit three fours and two sixes during his 56 in 43 balls.
That pushed Afghanistan well past the 200-run mark and some late runs from Zadran, who made 15 in 10 balls, gave Zimbabwe a testing target.
Tripano added the scalps of Shafiqullah, Mirwais Ashraf (4) and Alam (1) to return figures of five for 63 with Masakadza (2-39), Sean Williams (1-41) and Tinashe Panyangara (1-56) also finding success.
Zimbabwe then progressed serenely enough to 14 before they lost their way - dramatically.
Regis Chakabva was caught by Nabi off Alam for nine before Brendan Taylor was caught by Alam off Nabi for one.
That made the score 22 for two and from 29 for two, in the space of 10 balls, four wickets had gone, and with them, the game was effectively lost for Zimbabwe.
First, Williams was run out by Shafiqullah for one before Zadran bowled Sikandar Raza for 16 and caught and bowled Elton Chigumbura for nought two balls later.
And when Malcolm Waller was trapped in front by Ashraf for a four-ball duck, there was to be no way back for Zimbabwe.
That was not to stop them fighting hard, however, as despite only having four wickets left, they still needed a little more than a run per ball, but it would eventually be an order too tall.
Timycen Maruma (29 in 49 balls) and Mutumbami (64 in 75 balls) at least saved them from complete humiliation with a 97-run stand for the seventh wicket to take them to 126 before Maruma was trapped in front by Sharifuddin.
The slow left-armer struck again to remove Mutumbami and Masakadza (15) before Alam sealed a historic result by bowling Tripano for one, leaving Zimbabwe all out with 12 overs unbowled.
Sharafuddin picked up three for 29, Alam two for 30, Zadran two for 39, Nabi one for 15 and Mirwais Ashraf one for 21.
Having completed the one-day leg of their tour, Afghanistan will now take on Zimbabwe 'A' in two four-day games, the first of which begins in Harare on Sunday (27th July).
© Cricket World 2014