Rashid Khan, top order give Afghanistan 4-1 series win


Fifties from Javed Ahmadi and Rahmat Shah, and the all-round brilliance of Rashid Khan, powered Afghanistan to a 4-1 series win in Sharjah. Their margin of victory – 146 runs – was their second highest in ODI cricket. Their biggest had come in this series as well, in the first game.

File: Rashid Khan takes more selfies with Afghanistan fans (Peter Della Penna/ ESPNCricinfo)

After opting to bat, Afghanistan had a steady start with Ahmadi and Rahmat putting on 129 for the second wicket following the early dismissal of Mohammad Shahzad. Their partnership contributed 54% of Afghanistan’s total. Ahmadi was particularly fluent against spin, scoring 55 runs off 53 balls. Rahmat hit Chisoro for 30 runs off 23 balls but Sikandar Raza had him slicing a catch to long-off for 59. Rahmat ended the series as the top-scorer with 272 runs in four innings at an average of 68. Three overs later, Ahmadi was run out for 76 off 87 balls. From 142 for 1, Afghanistan slumped to 177 for 7. Rashid’s 29-ball 43, though, hauled the team to 241 for 9.

In reply, Zimbabwe collapsed to 95 all out in 32.1 overs with only two of their batsmen passing 20. Rashid took 3 for 13 to finish as the leading wicket-taker in the series with 16 wickets, at an outstanding average of 7.93.

Brendan Taylor (27) and Craig Ervine (34) rebuilt the chase briefly with a 46-run stand, before Zimbabwe imploded. They lost their last eight wickets for 23 runs with 16-year old Mujeeb Zadran, Shapoor Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Mohammad Nabi, and Rashid sharing the spoils. Rashid took three wickets in six balls to wrap up the tail. (ESPNCricinfo)


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