BULAWAYO — A superb bowling performance led by Wellington Masakadza yesterday helped Zimbabwe continue their cricket winning run at home as they defeated Afghanistan by eight wickets in the first one-day international (ODI) at Queens Sports Club.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, things did not go as planned for Afghanistan.
Luke Jongwe gave his side the perfect start by sending both the openers back to the pavilion.
Noor Ali Zadran (9) and ex-skipper Nawroz Mangal (6) were both dismissed cheaply.
Asghar Stanikzai (5) became Jongwe’s (3-16) third victim as Afghanistan were reeling at 34 for three in the 10th over.
Mohammad Shahzad (23) failed to capitalise on a start as Masakadza (4-21) dismissed him lbw in the 16th over.
Samiullah Shenwari (17), Najibullah Zadran (25) and Dawlat Zadran (25) managed to reach double figures as the remaining batting offered a meek surrender to the home side.
Masakadza picked up four wickets for Zimbabwe, while Jongwe and debutant Tendai Chisoro (3-16) managed three wickets each.
With a gettable target of 123 runs, Zimbabwe started off positively.
Richmond Mutumbami (30) and Chamu Chibhabha gave a brisk 53-run start to Zimbabwe from 11.5 overs.
Aftab Alam (1-21) dismissed Mutumbami caught behind providing a late breakthrough for the visitors.
Chibhabha continued batting with his usual flair, as he racked up his 14th ODI 50 from 62 balls with the help of three boundaries and a huge towering six.
He was dismissed after scoring 58 runs by Amir Hamza (1-30).
Craig Ervine (20 not out) and Tinotenda Mutombodzi (18 not out) ensured no further damage to Zimbabwe, as they cruised safely towards an eight-wicket victory in the 24th over.
Masakadza was named as the man of the match for his exploits with the ball.
With four more matches to go, Afghanistan have plenty of time to regroup and come back hard at Zimbabwe in the next game in Bulawayo on October 18. — cricketworld.com