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Shahzad's 52-ball century seals series victory for Afghanistan

Shahzad's 52-ball century seal series victory for Afghanistan
Mohammad Shahzad scored a 52-ball century for Afghanistan in the second T20I against Zimbabwe.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Afghanistan 215-6 (Shahzad 118no) beat
Zimbabwe 134 (Masakadza 63) by 81 runs
Second Twenty20 International in Sharjah

In a completely annihilating performance, Afghanistan riding on a superlative unbeaten knock of 118 from Mohammad Shahzad crushed Zimbabwe to a 81-run defeat and completed a 2-0 series victory. 

An unchanged Zimbabwe opted to bowl first on winning the toss. Afghanistan had two changes with Sayed Shirzad and Shafiqullah Shafiq replacing Mirwais Ashraf and Najibullah Zadran.

Afghanistan started the innings cautiously scoring three runs in the first over from Donald Tiripano (1-36).

But it was just five deliveries, Shahzad needed to get into the groove as he scored five boundaries and a six to take Afghanistan to 43 for naught in the powerplay.

Graeme Cremer (1-35) struck in his first delivery to castle Usman Ghani (5).

But, Shahzad had other plans as he plundered Chamu Chibhabha (1-56) for a 17-run eighth over which included a couple of fours and a six to reach his fifty off 31 deliveries.

The onslaught continued further as Afghanistan scored 51 runs in the next three overs with Asghar Stanikzai (18) joining Shahzad. Afghanistan reached 113 for one at the end of 11 overs.

The 73-run stand finally came to an end when Luke Jongwe (1-34) dismissed Stanikzai.

But that did not stop Shahzad who scored couple more sixes in the next over and eventually reached his century needing only 52 deliveries.

After an eventful 15th over from Chibhabha which saw Richmond Mutumbami dropping Shahzad while picking the wicket of Shafiqullah (8), Afghanistan reached 154 for four.

A 12-ball cameo from Mohammad Nabi (22) and six-ball knock from Gulbadin Naib (13) took Afghanistan to 215 for six in their 20 overs.

Shahzad remained unbeaten on 118 as Afghanistan scored 61 runs in the final five overs. Tendai Chisoro (1-25) was the pick of Zimbabwe bowlers picking a wicket while conceding just 25 runs.

After managing to score just eight in the first two overs, Zimbabwe lost Chibhabha (3) early.

Amir Hamza (2-15) struck twice in the fourth over to dismiss Mutumbami (1) and Malcolm Waller (0) in successive deliveries.

After a 16-run fifth over, the innings dented further with Nabi (1-10) dismissing Sikandar Raza (1) and Elton Chigumbura (0) in the sixth over to reduce Zimbabwe to 34 for five.

After 10 overs, Zimbabwe needed 157 to win from 60 deliveries. That's when Peter Moor (35) stepped up the accelerator scoring 17 runs from the 11th over.

Meanwhile, Hamilton Masakadza (63) plundered four sixes in three overs to bring his half-century.

The 77-run came to an end with Dawlat Zadran (2-21) getting rid of Moor, caught at backward point. Immediately Zimbabwe lost Masakadza, Jongwe (5) and Cremer (3) in the next two overs to find themselves at 124 for nine.

Zimbabwe were eventually bowled out for 134. The 81-run victory allowed Afghanistan to claim the series 2-0. Shahzad was announced the man of the match.

© Cricket World 2016