Who would have predicted that: Pocket rocket Mohammad Shahzad sparkles in unbeaten T20I ton
In our feature series - Who would have predicted that? – we are looking back at matches where there were big upsets or extraordinary individual performances that turned matches on their head.
Mohammad Shahzad became a darling of the cricket lovers as soon as he arrived at the scene. The Biryani loving Shahzad believes that when you can do the job without the gym, why exert yourself, as he has said in several of his interviews. An example of his approach to batting was on display in a T20I against Zimbabwe in January, 2016 when he scored an unbeaten 118 off just 67 deliveries.
Afghanistan 215/6(20 overs) - Mohammad Shahzad*118 (67), Mohammad Nabi22 (12); Tendai Chisoro1/25(4), Luke Jongwe1/34(4)
Zimbabwe 134(18.1 overs) - Hamilton Masakadza63 (44), Peter Moor35 (32); Amir Hamza2/15(3.1), Dawlat Zadran2/21(3)
Result - Afghanistan won by 81 runs
It was evident that Afghanistan openers Mohammad Shahzad and Usman Ghani wanted to send every ball that they faced into the orbit. But cricket does not work that way, or does it?
The result was that after the first 5 overs, Afghanistan had only reached 30 despite the openers trying to play more than one shot on every ball. However, once the spinners were introduced, Shahzad displayed his range. The batsman shuffled across the crease, going deep into the crease on some deliveries and sweeping on one knee on others.
With a flurry of boundaries, Shahzad went on to score 118* off 67 deliveries - the highest individual score for an associate nation in T20Is and the fourth-highest overall at that time. Shahzad did get a couple of chances but he made the most of it en route to his hard-hitting ton.
Fall of wickets: 1-43 (Usman Ghani, 6.1 ov), 2-116 (Asghar Afghan, 11.4 ov), 3-145 (Karim Sadiq, 13.3 ov), 4-154 (Shafiqullah, 14.4 ov), 5-201 (Mohammad Nabi, 18.5 ov), 6-215 (Gulbadin Naib, 19.6 ov)
Chasing 216, Hamilton Masakadza tried his best with a quick 63 but did not receive any support from the others. Peter Moor with 35 off 32 deliveries was the next best for Zimbabwe.
On the back of two wickets each from Sayed Shirzad, Dawlat Zadran and Amir Hamza , Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe by 81 runs. Mohammad Shahzad walked away with the Man of the Match award.
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Chamu Chibhabha, 2.1 ov), 2-18 (Richmond Mutumbami, 3.2 ov), 3-18 (Malcolm Waller, 3.3 ov), 4-34 (Sikandar Raza, 5.1 ov), 5-34 (Elton Chigumbura, 5.3 ov), 6-111 (Peter Moor, 14.5 ov), 7-114 (Hamilton Masakadza, 15.4 ov), 8-120 (Luke Jongwe, 16.2 ov), 9-124 (Graeme Cremer, 16.6 ov), 10-134 (Tendai Chisoro, 18.1 ov)
Afghanistan - Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Usman Ghani, Mohammad Nabi, Asghar Afghan (c), Gulbadin Naib, Karim Sadiq, Shafiqullah Shafiq, Rashid Khan, Sayed Shirzad, Dawlat Zadran, Amir Hamza
Zimbabwe - Peter Moor, Hamilton Masakadza, Chamu Chibhabha, Richmond Mutumbami (wk), Malcolm Waller, Sikandar Raza, Elton Chigumbura (c), Luke Jongwe, Graeme Cremer, Tendai Chisoro, Donald Tiripano
Match: AFG v ZIM, 2nd T20I, Zimbabwe tour of United Arab Emirates, 2015-16
Date: Sunday, January 10, 2016
Toss: Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bowl
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
Umpires: Vineet Kulkarni, Chettithody Shamshuddin
Third Umpire: Anil Kumar Chaudhary
Match Referee: David Jukes
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