On the second day of the tri-nation tournament involving Afghanistan and Zimbabwe with host Bangladesh, Afghanistan handed Zimbabwe a 28-run defeat at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital on Saturday.
Masakadza led team, who also lost the tournament’s opening encounter against host Bangladesh a day before, saw their batting line leapfrogged in the middle of the innings in front Afghan spinners.Zimbabwe had to chase 198 runs and somehow they managed to put 169-7 on the board after 20 overs- discovering themselves at 96-6 at 13.3 overs.
Since then Regis Chakava played 42 off 22 balls innings to keep their hopes alive, though in the end, it was not enough for the Masakdza army.
Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan and Fareed Malik took two wickets each to shield the target.
Earlier on the day, Masakadza decided to field after winning the toss against Afghanistan in the second match of the tri-series. Masakadza said that they wanted to win this game to ensure that their last two games don’t become dead rubbers but saying so, they failed to change their fate.
Afghanistan are currently on a hot streak in T20 cricket, having been undefeated for ten games since the start of last year. They have proved it again against Zimbabwe with Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran turned a sleepy old T20 - the score was a mere 123 after 16 overs - into an absolute firecracker, hitting seven sixes in seven balls.
The man of the match, Najibullah scored an undying 69 runs stroke from just 30 deliveries with six sixes and five fours while Nabi smashed four sixes before getting out, making 38 runs.For this game, Afghan side handed a debut to opening wicketkeeper-batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz who also played 43 off 24 balls innings on his first match.
Zimbabwe meanwhile have dropped Timycen Maruma and Tony Munyonga and brought in Regis Chakabva and 23-year old left-arm spinner Ainsley Ndlovu who has also made his T20 international debut in the match.