Wellington, Jongwe crush Afghanistan
Zimbabwe 126 for 2 (Chibhabha 58) beat Afghanistan 122 (Wellington 4-21, Jongwe 3-16, Chisoro 3-16) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Wellington Masakadza's best ODI figures of 4 for 21, and three-fors from debutant Tendai Chisoro and Luke Jongwe helped Zimbabwe crush Afghanistan by eight wickets in the first ODI in Bulawayo. Afghanistan were bundled out for 122 and the hosts chased it down with rather ease within 24 overs with a fifty from Chamu Chibhabha.
Afghanistan elected to bat on a typically flat Queens Sports Club pitch and were rocked by Jongwe's double-wicket maiden in the sixth over. He had Noor Ali Zadran sky a catch to midwicket and Nawroz Mangal edge one to Craig Ervine in the slips, leaving them on 15 for 2. No. 3 Mohammad Shahzad counterattacked by smashing three consecutive fours off Tinashe Panyangara in the next over and got a reprieve when he was dropped by John Nyumbu in the slips in the same over.
However, Jongwe struck again, in the tenth over, when captain Asghar Stanikzai also edged one to Ervine in the slips to finish his first spell with 6-2-10-3. Shahzad buckled down for a few overs and broke free with a six off left-arm spinner Masakadza but was trapped lbw on the very next ball and to deepen Afghanistan's problems, Mohammad Nabi edged his first ball to the slips, Ervine taking his third catch, to leave Masakadza on a hat-trick.
Najibullah Zadran survived the hat-trick ball and nearly fell in Masakadza's next over when he drove the ball at a catchable height to Chisoro at mid-off, but the chance was spilled. Masakadza didn't have to wait long for his third wicket - Samiullah Shenwari also offered a catch to Chisoro at mid-off and this time the debutant held on to it.
Afghanistan were 71 for 6 now and Najibullah unleashed a four and a six off Nyumbu's consecutive overs to give them some hope of a revival. But Chisoro dashed those aspirations by dismissing Amir Hamza and Najibullah in consecutive overs before they could reach 100. Tailenders Dawlat Zadran and Aftab Alam did rescue the innings a little bit. They combined for the innings' biggest partnership of 27 runs which featured three fours and a six from Dawlat. Chisoro came back to break the stand and Masakadza finished things off in his seventh over to wrap the innings in the 35th over.
Zimbabwe came out to bat an hour before lunch, and Chibhabha got going with a whip off his pads for four in the second over. The opening pair of Chibhabha and Richmond Mutumbami had the chase in a cruise with a fifty stand which saw frequent fours from both batsmen. The partnership of 53 was broken by medium-pacer Aftab Alam as Mutumbami edged him behind for 30.
Chibhabha then reached his 15th ODI fifty in style with a six off Amir Hamza in the 19th over and followed it with a four in the next over, but fell in the over after that for a brisk 58.
Tinotenda Mutombodzi finished things off three overs later with a four and a six to hand his team a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
With inputs from Liam Brickhill