In the second or last game of the two-match Test series, Afghanistan have made a strong start against Zimbabwe as they ended the opening day of this Test match in a comfortable position with the help of skipper Asghar Afghan’s century and Ibrahim Zadran and Hashmatullah Shahidi big 50+ scores.
Trailing by the 1-0 margin, Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan won the toss and chose to bat first in this Test series decider. At the stumps of the opening day of this Test match, Afghanistan have managed to score 307/3, their third-highest Test innings total.
Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe 2021, 2nd Test: Day 1 – Asghar Afghan 106*, Hashmatullah Shahidi 86*, Ibrahim Zadran 72
Zimbabwe pacer Victor Nyauchi provided a very good start for his team by dismissing the opener Javed Ahmadi (4) on the ninth ball of the match. Then another opener Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah put the 50 runs partnership for the second wicket. But a run-out ended their partnership as Rahmat Shah lost his wicket after scoring 56/2. At lunch, Afghanistan were batting on 83/2, where Ibrahim scored 43 not out and Hashmatullah Shahidi scored 12 not out.
In the second session, Ibrahim completed his fifty in 93 balls. Ibrahim and Hashmatullah built up the 65 runs partnership for the third wicket but Ryan Burl finally broke that partnership by taking the wicket of in-form Ibrahim Zadran, who scored 72 runs off 130 balls (8 fours).
Then Hashmatullah Shahidi and captain Asghar Afghan set up the giant partnership that built up their first innings strongly. Asghar completed his brilliant century while Hashmatullah is very close to complete his century. After the skipper completed his maiden Test century in 121 balls, he became the second Afghanistan batsman to score a Test century, just after Rahmat Shah (102 against Bangladesh at Chattogram in September 2019).
At the stumps of the day, Hashmatullah and Asghar have already put the 186 runs partnership for the unbroken fourth wicket, which is also Afghanistan’s first-ever 150+ partnership in Test cricket. While Asghar is batting on 106 not out off 135 balls (12 fours and 2 sixes), Hashmatullah is not out on 86 runs off 229 balls (12 fours).
Brief Scores: Afghanistan – 307/3 (Asghar Afghan 106*, Hashmatullah Shahidi 86*; Ryan Burl 1/34)