Mutumbami, Chigumbura script thrilling last over win for Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe 229-4 (Mutumbami 74) beat
Afghanistan 223-8 (Noor Ali 56) by six wickets
Third One-Day International, Bulawayo
Richmond Mutumbami and Elton Chigumbura hit crucial knocks as Zimbabwe managed to defeat Afghanistan by six wickets in a thrilling last over finish in the third One-Day International in Bulawayo to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
Having won the toss, Afghanistan opted to bat first. The openers Noor Ali Zadran (56) and Mohammad Shahzad (30) gave the team solid start by scoring 42 for naught in the powerplay overs.
Sean Williams (2-52) struck in his first over to dismiss Shahzad. Noor Ali and Mohammad Nabi (42) played cautiously and took Afghanistan to 96 for one at the half-way mark.
Noor Ali registered his second consecutive fifty, taking 99 balls to reach the landmark. In the 31st over, Tendai Chisoro (2-40) struck two crucial blows by dismissing Noor Ali and Nawroz Mangal (0).
Afghanistan slipped further when Asghar Stanikzai (0) edged one to the keeper off Luke Jongwe (1-18).
Nabi wanted to sneak a single off a mis-field in the 36th over, but was run out after a mix-up in the middle.
Samiullah Shenwari (14) was castled Wellington Masakadza (1-48) to leave Afghanistan struggling at 149 for six.
Williams claimed his second wicket by dismissing Rashid Khan (15). The pair of Dawlat Zadran (23 not out) and Shafiqullah Shafiq (35) plundered 40 runs from the last three overs to push Afghanistan’s total to 223 for eight.
Chisoro and Williams had two wickets each while Tinashe Panyangara (1-21), Jongwe and Masakadza claimed a victim each.
In their chase, Zimbabwe got off to a steady start by reaching 40 for one in the powerplay phase.
The only wicket to fall was Chamu Chibhabha (18), who became the first Zimbabwe batsman to be given out handling the ball.
Mutumbami (74) was dropped by Shenwari (0-11) at mid-wicket. Afghanistan claimed the second wicket when Amir Hamza (3-47) castled Craig Ervine (11).
In the next over Mutumbami brought up his fifty off 71 deliveries. Mutumbami was once again dropped at long off but fell an over later when he holed out to mid-wicket off Hamza. Zimbabwe were 117 for three at this stage.
Williams (39) and Chigumbura (49 not out) steadied the innings with a 61-run stand. Hamza picked his third wicket of the day as Williams picked out long on to perfection.
With Zimbabwe needing 46 runs from 44 balls, Chigumbura and Sikandar Raza (29 not out) put on a 51-run unbeaten stand.
Three runs were required from the last over and Raza took Zimbabwe home with a huge six down the ground.
Zimbabwe overhauled the target with just two balls to spare and six wickets in hand. Hamza was the only wicket taker for Afghanistan.
Mutumbami picked up the man of the match award for his knock of 74.
The fourth game of the series will be played on 22nd October in Bulawayo, with the series positioned at 2-1 in favour of Zimbabwe.
© Cricket World 2015