Noor Ali hands Afghanistan the edge

Day 2 Afghanistan 358 for 7 (Noor Ali 130, Shahzad 79) lead Zimbabwe XI 350 (Taibu 172, Garwe 48, Nabi 3-90) by 8 runs

Afghanistan continued to impress, inspired by their performance in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. In their first game of the Intercontinental Cup, they put up an admirable batting display to counter Zimbabwe XI's first-innings score of 350. By stumps on Day 2, they had gained a lead of eight runs with Noor Ali scoring a debut first-class century. He added 149 for the opening wicket with Ahmad Shah, who contributed 40, an indication how dominant Ali was. Mohammad Shahzad made a valuable 79 but Zimbabwe fought back with late wickets. Spinners Tafadzwa Kamungozi and Timycen Maruma bagged three wickets each to dent Afghanistan's charge after they had been cruising at 273 for 2 at tea.

Coming into this match, Zimbabwe were banking heavily on their most experienced player and Tatenda Taibu delivered, scoring close to half his team's runs in an innings of 172, which included 26 fours. None of his team-mates made a half-century, though he was supported well by Trevor Garwe (48), with whom he added 124, and Shingirai Masakadza (22). Mohammad Nabi finished with figures of 3 for 90, while Dawlat Ahmadzai was miserly, taking 2 for 14 in 8.4 overs. Zimbabwe scored at a fairly brisk rate of 4.3-an-over but Afghanistan have responded strongly, gaining the edge in the four-day fixture.

"It was a very good day for me to get my first first-class century and it was very special to score a hundred for my country," said Noor Ali. "I will never forget this day in my life. It is an unbelievable thing for me to score a century against Zimbabwe and we have done a good job here so far to get ahead of them and we will be doing everything we can to try and win this match. Mohammad Nabi is still at the wicket and we want to show the people at home that we can do well."

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  • Noor century secures draw

    Noor Ali compiled his second hundred of the match as Afghanistan secured a draw against Zimbabwe XI in Mutare

  • Noor Ali hands Afghanistan the edge

    In their first game of the Intercontinental Cup, Afghanistan put up an excellent batting display to counter Zimbabwe XI's first-innings score of 350

  • Taibu keeps Zimbabwe fighting

    Tatenda Taibu's second century of the match kept Zimbabwe XI alive in their four-day game against Afghanistan in Mutare

Afghanistan 4th innings Partnerships

1st103Ahmed ShahNoor Ali Zadran
2nd25Noor Ali ZadranAsghar Afghan
3rd34Noor Ali ZadranRaees Ahmadzai
4th49Noor Ali ZadranMohammad Shahzad