Recent Match Report – Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2nd ODI 2022

Afghanistan 229 for 2 (Ibrahim 120*, Rahmat 88) beat Zimbabwe 228 (Kaia 63, Burl 51*, Fareed 3-56) by eight wickets

Ibrahim Zadran scored his maiden ODI century, sharing the highest second-wicket score against Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe, of 195 runs, with Rahmat Shah, to ensure a successful 229 chase and a run for Afghanistan, match in hand. This win brings Afghanistan to 90 points from 11 games on the World Cup Super League table and, if they win the series 3-nil on Thursday, they will be in second place on the points table and in a good position to to secure automatic qualification for the 2023 World Cup. Zimbabwe, on the other side of the table, remains in 12th place with just three wins from 14 matches.
While the 60-run gap between Zimbabwe and Afghanistan in the first match illustrated Zimbabwe’s struggles in the chase, the eight-wicket difference in this one highlighted their batting problems overall. Even when putting a total, Zimbabwe seems to be a quality batter or two wrong and has not been able to build great partnerships.
In this match, Innocent Kaia and Ryan Burl booked their innings for half a century, but they only had one partnership of over 50 runs and two others that threatened but were thwarted before they could cause significant problems for Afghanistan. Kaia and Craig Ervine put up 47 for the second wicket, after Regis Chakabva was fired for a duck of the second ball before Kaia and Sikandar Raza posted 67 for the fourth wicket. A middle-class collapse of 5 for 26 left Zimbabwe facing a total of under 200 before Burl and Blessing Muzarabani split 46 for the ninth wicket to push their score into competitive territory.

Kaia, who played in his second ODI, scored a career-best 63 and showed a strong run of strikes all over the ground. His proactive approach to spin and positive footwork was the hallmark of his innings, although it also proved to be his downfall. He was well set as he advanced on the track against left-armer Fareed Ahmed, who saw him coming and dropped him short. Kaia went to the top and Rahmanullah Gurbaz grabbed a good catch to end his innings.

That wicket created a domino effect. Two overs later, Milton Shumba attempted a fuller Fareed delivery from the back foot, missed and was lbw out on assessment and two overs later, Raza Mohammed Nabi attempted to cut over a short third man, but hit the ball straight to him. Donald Tiripano played Rashid Khan on his stumps to give the leg pinner his second wicket after removing Wessley Madhevere in his first over and Tendai Chatara was caught on extra cover trying to hit Nabi over the top.

At 177 for 8 Zimbabwe ran into trouble but an enterprising stance between Burl and Muzarabani saw them bust through the overs and up the ante at the end. Burl and Muzarabani alternated the attack well, scoring 19 singles and eight twos in their 63 deliveries combined. Burl crossed the line just three times, twice in consecutive balls from Fareed for four and then a slog over cow corner for six. His 50 came from 58 balls.

In the end, it was not enough to harass the Afghan position, which avoided a small target with few obstacles. They ran to 17 of the first two overs before Gurbaz was doled out lbw by a delivery coming in from Blessing Muzarabani. He assessed but was unsuccessful.

Completely unaffected by his opening partner’s departure, Ibrahim continued to shoot deliveries off his pads from a wayward Tendai Chatara, whose first three overs cost 21 runs, and he pulled it all away. He also took a spin and sent Burl to the long-running fence, bringing forward his fifty, of 59 deliveries, of Raza. Ibrahim could have been out in the next over, cutting off an attempt to cut off Tiripano to Chakabva, but the wicketkeeper couldn’t hold out. On the other hand, Rahmat, who had shown a collection of discs, passed fifty of 71 deliveries almost unnoticed.

With almost no pressure from the Zimbabwean attack, Ibrahim and Rahmat were able to spin the attack freely and had the required run rate well under control. Ibrahim brought out his hundred with a rare cover drive, from the 120th ball he encountered. Rahmat could have followed, but with 18 runs to go, he chased a wide pitch and took it off, falling for 88. Ibrahim hit the winning runs for Afghanistan, with 33 balls left.

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