Afghanistan break into top 10 of ODI rankings
Afghanistan's 49-run win in the first ODI against Zimbabwe in Sharjah on Friday meant they displaced Zimbabwe to enter the top 10 in the ICC ODI charts for the first time.
The key architects of the win were opener Noor Ali Zadran and left-arm spinner Amir Hamza, who made 63 and took four wickets respectively as Afghanistan successfully defended the lowest total - 131- for an Associate against a Full Member.
Afghanistan will have an opportunity to remain at the tenth position should they win the five-match series against Zimbabwe. A series loss, however, means they will return to their original No. 12 ranking, behind Zimbabwe and Ireland.
The year 2015 has been a watershed year of sorts for Afghanistan, who made their maiden World Cup appearance in Australia in February-March, where they beat Scotland by one wicket.
They built on that success by registering their first bilateral series win over a Test nation when they beat Zimbabwe 3-2 in a five-match series in Bulawayo in October. Interestingly, they came back from one match down to win the series, which made them the first Associate to topple a Full Member in a bilateral series.