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Afghans Win Opening Four-Day Game

Rahmat Shah
Rahmat Shah was one of just three players to reach double figures in Afghanistan's first innings
©International Cricket Council

Afghanistan A 105 & 321 beat
Zimbabwe A 165 & 226 by 35 runs
Four-day game, Harare

Afghanistan 'A' were behind after the first innings and then saw Mark Vermeulen score a century for Zimbabwe 'A' but still managed to win the first of two four-day games by 35 runs in Harare.

A young and inexperienced team prevailed after Najibullah Zadran scored 99 in their second innings and then dismissed the Zimbabweans for 226 on the final day.

Batting first, the Afghans struggled and only Rahmat Shah (27), Fazal Niazai (26) and Najib Taraki (16) reached double figures as Tendai Chatara returned five for 31.

The home side then crashed to 30 for five before recovering to score 165, largely thanks to Luke Jongwe's 58.

Yamin Ahmadzai and Fareed Ahmad both took five wickets, sharing all 10 to fall.

Then the game was turned on its head by the tourists as Najibullah made 99 in 103 balls, Taraki 51 in 68 and Fazal Niazai 42 not out in 111 deliveries to build a lead of 261.

But for Vermeulen's 107 in 174 balls, Zimbabwe A would have been well beaten but he held the run chase together before eventually, with Mirwais Ashraf taking six for 35 and Yamin Ahmadzai three for 65, the tourists won out.

The two sides meet again in Afghanistan's final game of the tour in two days (2nd August).

© Cricket World 2014