Afghanistan are now in a controlling position at the stumps of the third day of this Test series decider as Zimbabwe had a tough day where their batting collapse became the reason for facing follow-on.
Starting the day on their overnight score of 50/0, Zimbabwe ended their first innings on 287 runs. While they were still 258 runs behind Afghanistan’s first innings total, the Asian side decided to enforce the follow-on upon their oppositions. At the end of the day, Zimbabwe scored 24/0 as they are still trailing by 234 runs.
Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe 2021, 2nd Test: Day 3 – Sikandar Raza fought really hard after batting collapse
Openers Prince Masvaure and Kevin Kasuza stretched their opening partnership to 91 runs before Rashid Khan brought the first breakthrough for Afghanistan by dismissing Kasuza for 41 runs.
Opener Prince completed his fifty in 117 balls. He and Tarisai Musakanda put the 42 runs partnership for the second wicket while Amir Hamza took the wicket of Prince, who scored 65 runs off 143 balls (5 fours). At lunch, Zimbabwe were batting on 145/2.
But in the second session of the day, Zimbabwe lost their wickets at regular intervals. In the very second over of that session, Sayed Shirzad dismissed the last Test centurion, Zimbabwean skipper Sean Williams (8) and Wesley Madhevere (0) in back-to-back deliveries. Musakanda scored 41 runs before Rashid Khan trapped him for the lbw.
From 145/2, Zimbabwe were suddenly struggling on 189/6. Sikandar Raza and wicket-keeper batsman Regis Chakabva tried to control that situation as they set up a crucial 50+ partnership for the seventh wicket.
But on the fourth ball of the third session, that partnership was broken as Rashid Khan took the wicket of Chakabva, who scored 33 runs and had the 53 runs partnership for the seventh wicket. Then Raza completed his fifty in 81 balls. Though Raza tried hard, he didn’t get enough support from the lower-order batsmen. At the end of that innings, Rashid Khan dismissed Raza who scored 85 off 129 balls (7 fours and only six).
While Rashid Khan had bowling figures of 36.3-3-138-4, Amir Hamza finished that innings with the bowling figures of 32-6-73-3. Also, Sayed Shirzad (2/48) got two wickets in that innings.
In the follow on innings, Zimbabwe openers Prince Masvaure (3*) and Kevin Kasuza (20*) remained not out at the stumps of the day.
Brief Scores: Afghanistan – 545/4 decl. (Hashmatullah Shahidi 200*; Asghar Afghan 164, Ryan Burl 1/69)
Zimbabwe – 287 (Sikandar Raza 85, Prince Masvaure 65; Rashid Khan 4/138) & 24/0 (Kevin Kasuza 20*, Prince Masvaure 3*)