Zimbabwe v Afghanistan, 1st ODI, Bulawayo July 18, 2014

Williams fifty sets up easy win for Zimbabwe

ESPNcricinfo staff

Zimbabwe 227 for 4 (Williams 70, Taylor 43, Raza 42*) beat Afghanistan 223 for 9 (Shenwari 65, Nabi 54, Chatara 2-37) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Sean Williams' 65-ball 70 was the leading performance in Zimbabwe's comfortable six-wicket win against Afghanistan in Bulawayo that gave the hosts a 1-0 lead in the four-match ODI series.

Williams joined his captain Brendan Taylor in the middle when the team was still 135 runs adrift of the target and carefully set about building a solid foundation. His second scoring shot was a boundary, but he generally preferred rotating the strike in the first half of his innings, scoring at around a run a ball. It was only in the second half of the innings that he started opening up, first hitting consecutive boundaries off Dawlat Zadran to reach his 14th ODI half-century, then hitting two fours and a six to take Zimbabwe close. By the time he was dismissed, giving a return catch to Mohammad Nabi, Zimbabwe were only 18 short of the target.

It hadn't been a smooth start to the chase though. Playing their first ODI in over 10 months, Zimbabwe lost two early wickets of Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza with only 27 runs on the board. Taylor and Sikandar Raza resisted and brought about the half-century of the partnership in the 18th over. They faced a minor flutter when Raza was retired hurt in the 22nd over, but a measured innings from Williams helped them through. Raza came back to bat at the fall of Williams and was unbeaten on 42 at the end.

Zimbabwe's decision to bowl brought immediate rewards in the morning as Donald Tiripano dismissed the 17-year-old opener Usman Ghani for 0 in the second over. Afghanistan's innings crawled along at around three runs an over after 20 overs as Tendai Chatara struck twice. Noor Ali Zadran, however, kept one end intact, scoring a painstaking 107-ball 43 before being run out in the 36th over. Afghanistan were yet to reach 100.

The innings took a turn for better as Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari, who was unbeaten on 65, added 73 runs in 8.3 overs, with Nabi scoring a quick 32-ball 54 laced with three sixes and three fours. That injection of momentum helped Afghanistan add another 51 runs in 5.4 overs after the fall of Nabi to post a competitive 223, but it wasn't enough in the end as Zimbabwe chased down the target with 4.4 overs to spare.

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  • Android on July 22, 2014, 16:00 GMT

    hello our afghan heroes and our lucks and zimbabwe team, zimbabwe played very will and our afghan tigers played most will in the side of bowling or batting against full member zim we are very happy and we have more wishes from our afghan tigers to win next matches we proud of our heroes good luck guys and we are happy from full member team zim, the sky will be shine in the future... our country will be shine in the future... AKN

  • Afg on July 19, 2014, 5:14 GMT

    Both teams played wonderfully! I am absolutely proud of my team, Afghanistan, for earning the right to this tour and for defending the right by giving Zimbabwe a good challenge in the first game.

    We played a little too conservative for the first 35 overs, but that is something we have had to work on, so it's not so bad. It will be easy for us to regain our aggressive nature, but I am glad we have developed the ability to play defensive batting! It will be crucial in the four day matches.

    Thank you Zimbabwe for hosting us. I hope in the future the games can be televised so I don't have to follow the game through a score sheet! Thank you ESPN for giving us that score sheet to follow! :)

    Good luck to both teams in tomorrows game. Come on tigers, you men of the mountain, let's show the world what we are made of tomorrow!

    With lots of love, especially to our formidable captain Mohammad Nabi! You have already made every Afghan proud with your talent and your dignified nature!

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2014, 0:12 GMT

    Well play afghan tigers its too dangers for zambabive and bangladish inshallah we will win this tour for zambabive team

  • Android on July 18, 2014, 20:08 GMT

    afghan team is such a good team but now should do some changes in the team and i think asghar and mirwais ashraf should replace by gulbadin naib and should give the chance to new talent of nasir jamal then inshallah this team will give tough time to zimbabwe...

  • Android on July 18, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    Zim top order must be solid and improve especially when playing in familiar setup. Well done Sikandar, Brendan, Sean and Elton. Afgh, you started very conservative but posted a respectable total in the later part of the game. Overall, it's important 4 the openers yo bat well - team that get early wickets in ODI have an early advantage

  • Khondker S on July 18, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    AFG needs to play well....work hard and use more brain than muscle.

  • Graham on July 18, 2014, 17:56 GMT

    Would have been a very even match take out Williams and Taylor...Raza struggled but played a good innings from the top. Zimbabwe best XI is OK but without the guys mentioned batting would always be a problem. Bowling mediocre , The early wicket was vital and ensured the slow , nervous approach by Afgan bats..without the early wicket another 40 odd runs could have been accumulated leaving a more challenging total for Zim to chase..Sibanda , Masakadza must show their experience or move aside after the next match .We know Sibanda is a reckless puller of the ball across the line and Masakadza is prone to poor spells with the bat. Waller waits his chance is a good one day shot maker. Good even match Afgans will improve and so should Zim.

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    For the next match afghanistan have to bring some changes in their side, asghar stanikzai and mirwais ashraf have to be replaced by Nasir jamal and Gullbuddin naib, and instead of sharafuddin ashraf they can give chance to rahmat shah,and the reason for today match was noor ali zadran he played really slowly, that was and ODI match not test, and hope he will realize this fact for next matches, and more expectations are from noor ali, osman ghani and hashmatullah, they have to play sincerely next time, all the best for both the teams,,

  • Andrew on July 18, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    Well done Zim. I told Afghan fans not to have too high expectations of your team playing away in Zimbabwe. Bigger teams have also made that mistake.

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    great match...interesting to see Bangladesh and zim though

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