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Rahmat, Rashid extend Afghanistan's dominance over Zimbabwe

Rashid Khan (left) picked four wickets for Afghanistan
Rashid Khan (left) picked four wickets for Afghanistan

Afghanistan 333-5 (Rahmat 114) beat
Zimbabwe 179 (Rashid 4-26) by 154 runs
First One-Day International in Sharjah

Rahmat Shah scored 114 off 110 deliveries while Rashid Khan picked a four-wicket haul as Afghanistan made a winning start to the One-Day International series with a convincing 154-run victory in the first game in Sharjah to take a 1-0 lead.

Afghanistan won the toss and decided to bat first. Mohammad Shahzad (36) and Ihsanullah Janat (54) started the innings positively scoring 54 runs in the first 10 overs and with a boundary in the 13th over, the latter completed his half-century.

Shahzad welcomed Graeme Cremer (3-47) with a six and a boundary in his first over but the Zimbabwe skipper got his revenge when he had both the openers caught in the 16th over and also followed it with the wicket of Asghar Stanikzai (3) as Afghanistan were reduced to 109 for three.

Zimbabwe though failed to capitalise on the advantage as Rahmat Shah (114) and Nasir Jamal (31) began to rebuild with another 66 run stand that came off 79 deliveries. Rahmat reached his half-century off 66 deliveries but Jamal was castled by Sikandar Raza (1-58) at the other end.

Afghanistan totally dominated the final 10 overs scoring 122 runs in it with Rahmat completing his century but the decisive innings came from Najibullah Zadran (81 not out) with his 51-ball knock that had five apiece of boundaries and sixes to lift the total to 333 for five in the 50 overs. Cremer was the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers with a three-wicket haul.

In the chase, Hamilton Masakadza (16), Solomon Mire (34), Brendan Taylor (16), Solomon Mire (33) and Raza (25) all got starts but failed to convert it big.

With the required run rate climbing high and Rashid (4-26) in action, Zimbabwe struggled throughout the chase and were bowled out for 179 runs in the 35th over.

Rahmat was named the player of the match as Afghanistan claimed a 1-0 lead in the series.

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