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Taylor, Cremer steer Zimbabwe to first win in Afghanistan tour

Graeme Cremer picked four wickets
Graeme Cremer picked four wickets

Zimbabwe 333-5 (Taylor 125) beat
Afghanistan 179 (Cremer 4-41) by 154 runs
Second One-Day International in Sharjah

Brendan Taylor slammed 125 while Graeme Cremer followed it with a four-wicket haul as Zimbabwe completed a massive 154-run victory over Afghanistan in the second One-Day International in Sharjah to level the series 1-1.

Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bat first but their start wasn't an ideal one as Mujeeb Zadran (1-47) trapped Solomon Mire (9) LBW in the third over.

Hamilton Masakadza (48) continued to play positively hitting two sixes and three boundaries to take Zimbabwe to 54 for one in the first powerplay. His 50-run partnership with Taylor (125) came in the 12th over and the latter decided to step up the gear when he smashed Gulbadin Naib (1-85) two sixes in the 15th over.

Just when Zimbabwe got themselves into a dominant position, an indecision in running led to the run out of Masakadza but Taylor went on to notch his half-century off 53 deliveries. Zimbabwe were positioned 127 for two at the halfway mark.

Rashid Khan (2-36) provided some respite for Afghanistan at the other end when he had Craig Ervine (14) caught behind but any chance of a comeback for Afghanistan was put off by 135-run stand for the fourth wicket between Taylor and Sikandar Raza (92) that came off just 110 deliveries. During this phase, the duo plundered nine boundaries and seven sixes as Afghanistan were put under a lot of pressure.

Taylor went on to complete his century off 110 deliveries and late flourish from Malcolm Waller (17 not out) and Ryan Burl (11 not out) ensured Zimbabwe posted a massive 333 for five in their 50 overs.

In the chase, Afghanistan were troubled early with the new ball by a triple strike from Tendai Chatara (3-24) that removed Ihsanullah Janat (2), Asghar Stanikzai (1) and Nasir Jamal (0) while comeback Brian Vitori (1-39) accounted for the explosive Mohammad Shahzad (15) as they were reduced to 29 for four.

From there on they hardly recovered and despite fightback from Mohammad Nabi (31) and Dawlat Zadran (47 not out), Afghanistan were bowled out for 179 runs with Cremer (4-49) cleaning the lower order.

Taylor was named the man of the match as Zimbabwe levelled the series 1-1.

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