Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe 2021, 1st T20I: Controlled Afghanistan Claim Handsome Series-Leading Victory
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Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe 2021, 1st T20I: Controlled Afghanistan Claim Handsome Series-Leading Victory

Image Credit: Twitter

Afghanistan have taken the 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series against Zimbabwe after winning the first T20I of this series by 48 runs.

After Zimbabwe sent their opponents to bat first, Afghanistan scored 198/5 in 20 overs. In reply, Zimbabwe only managed to score 150/7 (20 overs) at the end of the second innings.

Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe 2021, 1st T20I

2nd innings (Zimbabwe): Zimbabwe lost the plot in the second half of chasing

Inside the powerplay, Zimbabwe lost their opener Tarisai Musakanda for 18 runs. But another opener Tinashe Kamunhukamwe and skipper Sean Williams strongly built a second-wicket partnership of 45 runs. However, the Zimbabwean batsmen couldn’t handle the growing pressures of the required run-rate.

Once that partnership was broken, Zimbabwe lost their wickets at regular intervals as they were moving away from the game. While the opener Kamunhukamwe scored 44 runs, captain Williams and Sikandar Raza both scored 22 runs. Richmond Mutumbami (15) and Brandon Mavuta (10*) were their only other batsmen to manage the double-digit scores in that innings.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Asghar Afghan, Rashid Khan, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, 1st T20I, Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe
Afghanistan cricketers (Image Credit: ICC)

While Rashid Khan (3/28) got three wickets,  Fareed Ahmad (2/31) and Karim Janat (2/14) got two wickets each.

1st innings (Afghanistan): Rahmanullah Gurbaz provided a firing start, captain Asghar Afghan also scored a fifty

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Asghar Afghan, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, 1st T20I, Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe
Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Asghar Afghan (Image Credit: ICC Twitter)

Afghanistan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz provided a fiery start while he had the 80-run opening partnership with another opening batsman Karim Janat. Just after Gurbaz completed his fifty in 26 balls, Janat lost his wicket to Richard Ngarava for 26 runs off 22 balls.

Then Gurbaz continued his aggressive batting along with the skipper Asghar Afghan as they built up 74 runs partnership for the second wicket. Ryan Burl broke that partnership by dismissing opener Gurbaz for 87 runs off 45 balls where the opening batsman hit 6 fours and 7 sixes.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, 1st T20I, Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Image Credit: ICC Twitter)

Though the other batsmen failed to reach the double-digit scores, Asghar continued his strong batting and scored 55 off 38 balls (6 fours and 2 sixes) before Blessing Muzarabani dismissed him in the last over.

Blessing Muzarabani (2/38) and Richard Ngarava (2/43) both picked up two wickets each in that innings.

Brief Scores: Afghanistan – 198/5 in 20 overs (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 87, Asghar Afghan 55; Blessing Muzarabani 2/38)

Zimbabwe – 150/7 in 20 overs (Tinashe Kamunhukamwe 44, Sikandar Raza 22; Rashid Khan 3/28)

Result – Afghanistan won by 48 runs