Afghanistan Snatch Series Win
Afghanistan Snatch Series Win, CricketHighlights
by Kristina Newsam, MyCricketHighlights Writer
Afghanistan defeated Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in their 4th ODI encounter, thanks to a spectacular maiden five-wicket assault by Mujeeb Ur Rahman, leading Afghanistan to a 4-0 lead in the five-match series.
Zimbabwe Stumped by Mujeeb
Zimbabwe got off to a sluggishly slow start, which was largely owing to the most deceptive spin that caught many a Zimbabwean batsman off-guard and off-balance, to lead to a drought-like restriction during the opening stages of their innings.
It was not until Brendan Taylor stepped up to the crease and blasted away a quick and confident 30. He would have continued the upward trend of his upset had it not been for the meddling slow bowler, Sharafuddin Ashraf and his accomplice, Ihsanullah, near the end of the 15th over.
Craig Ervine then took up his position as rhythm-keeper, but soon found that he needed more people to make an island, as his countrymen fainted at the challenge and left him standing alone with 54 unbeaten runs to his name.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman Fires Up a 5-For
Mujeeb Ur Rahman had set an angry assault ablaze to ravage the first two openers to leave the batsmen to come, still choking in the smoke. The arsonist then added more fuel to their fire, as he re-emerged to burn away the chaff presenting itself in three of the mid-to-tail batsmen, allowing them the chance to score only 6 runs among the lot of them.
Mujeeb's Player of the Match title would then come as no surprise, as his warrior-like attack had emblazoned his impact across the increasingly intimidated minds and hands of the Zimbabwe batsmen.
It Takes Two to Tango
"It takes two to tango"-- and apparently, to wax off the 135-run chase target set by Zimbabwe, in the space of just 21 overs.
Mohammad Shahzad and Ihsanullah would produce a groundbreaking unbeaten opening-and-ending partnership to the tune of 135 runs, to shoot down the target with sniper-like accuracy.
Zimbabwe would not have known what had hit them, as the two right-handers would engage in a sublime stretch that included a 75-run stint across the span of just 12 overs.
This brilliant partnership would prove to be the perfect seal to a dominant showing that has earned Afghanistan the No. 10 spot on the ICC ODI ranking table.