Afghanistan v Netherlands, Intercontinental Cup, Sharjah, 3rd day April 4, 2012

Debutant Zazai leads Afghanistan to improbable win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Afghanistan 129 (Mangal 67, Bukhari 6-43) & 233 for 7 (Zazai 84*, Stanikzai 43) beat Netherlands 133 (Dawlatzai 4-24, Zadran 4-45) ) & 228 (Heggelman 59, Dawlatzai 5-45) by three wickets

Afsar Zazai, 18, led Afghanistan to an improbable three-wicket win over Netherlands on his first-class debut. Netherlands were favourites to win when they had reduced Afghanistan to 111 for 6 in their chase of 233 on the second day. But Zazai did not give up and along with Mohammad Nabi (25) and Samiullah Shenwari (20 not out) took Afghanistan to second position on the points table behind Ireland.

Afghanistan needed another 122 to win at the start of the third day with only four wickets standing. Wicketkeeper Zazai added 76 with Nabi and an unbroken 46 for the eighth wicket with Shenwari. He hit 13 boundaries in his patient unbeaten innings of 84 from 156 deliveries. Though Nabi fell to Michael Swart with the score on 187, Shenwari supported Zazai as he carried Afghanistan to the target.