Najibullah and Janat describe the sweep of Afghanistan |

Najibullah Zadran was Afghanistan's top scorer with 72 unbeaten

Najibullah Zadran was Afghanistan’s top scorer with 72 unbeaten

Najibullah Zadran’s career record 72 points helped Afghanistan secure a comfortable 47-point victory in the third and final T20I on a soft surface in Abu Dhabi on Saturday to shut out Zimbabwe 3-0.

By choosing to beat first, Afghanistan got off to a good start, but a much better bowling discipline from Zimbabwe, helped by three wickets in quick succession, tied the batsmen well in the middle of the overs. However, Zadran stepped on the accelerator, hitting five sixes and as many borders, to give Afghanistan a 183-for-7 lead on the board which, at one point, seemed far-fetched.

The lack of partnerships hurt Zimbabwe in the pursuit, which lost a few wickets on the power play. Karim Janat’s double wicket tightened the screws even more and despite an unbeaten 41 fight from Sikandar Raza, Zimbabwe could only muster 136/5 in response.

First half in Zimbabwedespite the Afghan forerunners recovering well from a cautious start to post 43/1 of their power play. Zimbabwe had studied Gurbaz well after their superb innings in the first game, and Richard Ngarava knocked him out in a similar way to his dismissal yesterday – short and away, for which the first game was tough to be called off by the extra bounce. Zimbabwe mixed rhythm and spin, with tighter lines and lengths this time, and as a result, the batsmen tied at 60 for 3 midway through the 10th.

When Karin Janat rose up as a threat – hitting a few limits and a six in the rest, aided by loose bowling as well as fielding – Wellington Masakadza came back in the attack to nip him in the bud with a ball slower than no. 3 batsman completely missed his slog sweep. Ghani decided to face Raza and succeeded momentarily with a six from the first ball even though he didn’t look in total control of the shot, but the officer caught him on the end of the next ball to send it to 39. With the pitch on the slower side, Afghanistan struggled to find momentum for most of their mid-overs, but the quick wickets only push them further back.

Zadran launches a late assault

Nabi’s dismissal meant that Zadran had all the more responsibility on his shoulders to give impetus to Afghanistan in the dead. And he did not disappoint. After taking a few balls to get his eye, Zadran effortlessly shifted gears and even losing partners on the other end didn’t scare him. Masakadza was attacked first, hit for two sixes and a fours to close the 17th. Asghar Afghan, who hit two sixes and a four in his 12-ball 24, was fired by Faraz Akram, but the allroudner hit him for a six and four on the last two balls from above to keep the attack going. . Even in the final finished, Muzarabani hit the first two balls ahead, but Zadran recovered 4, 4, 2 and 6 on the others to quickly turn around and make a grand final. Afghanistan selected 69 points from their last four passes, of which Zadran had 53 points of 13 on his own, which gave his side at least 20 points above par for the conditions. And that there was the deciding factor.

Zimbabwe lose two on the power play.With a big total on the board to defend, Afghanistan handed the new ball to debutant Fazal Haque, who took just four balls to open his T20I account with the wicket of Zimbabwean opener Tinashe Kamunhukamwe. Musakanda continued to find his odd limit and a six in the power play, but Nabi also beat Williams, having been hit on the fence several times in the sixth, to leave Zimbabwe in shock at 40-1 from their power play.

Janat’s double blow

Musakanda’s post-power-play wicket drastically reduced the scoring rate, and Zimbabwe pushed their way to 56 for 3 at the halfway point of their pursuit. However, Janat landed a fatal blow with successive short balls which Milton Shumba and Mutumbani slashed behind at the “keeper in the 11th”. Afghan bowlers never let Zimbabwe out, playing tight lines and giving nothing. On paper, Raza and Ryan Burl combined for an undefeated 80-point stand which was the best of their heats, but it was too little too late in the day for Zimbabwe. Burl was particularly impressive in his 31-ball 39 *, hitting three sixes albeit to no avail, while top Raza scored for them with an unbeaten 41 of just 29.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 183/7 in 20 overs (Najibullah Zadran 72 *, Usman Ghani 39; Richard Ngarava 2-35, Blessing Muzarabani 2-41) beat Zimbabwe 136/5 in 20 overs (Sikandar Raza 41 *, Ryan Burl 39 *; Karim Janat 2-34) by 47 uns.