Zimbabwe v Afghanistan, 3rd ODI, Bulawayo July 22, 2014

Afghanistan keep series alive with team performance

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Afghanistan 264 for 8 (Ahmadi 56) beat Zimbabwe 261 for 8 (H Masakadza 84, Taylor 53) by 2 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Afghanistan kept the four-match series alive with a win in the tightly-contested third ODI in Bulawayo. None of their bowlers took more than two wickets and only one of their batsmen got to a fifty - Javed Ahmadi with 56 - but they still overpowered Zimbabwe by two wickets, in a chase of 262, with two balls to spare. That brought the series scoreline to 2-1, in favour of the hosts, with one to play.

Zimbabwe were inserted and were provided a solid platform by Hamilton Masakadza - who top scored with 84 - and captain Brendan Taylor, who added 109 at five an over after Sikandar Raza was out cheaply. Sean Williams, batting at No. 4, also contributed to the cause with a brisk 49, but a flurry of wickets in the final six meant they finished with a slightly under-par 261 for 8. Medium pacer Aftab Alam was the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan, picking up two wickets in a tidy spell.

Afghanistan's chase was off to an ideal start, with the openers, Usman Ghani and Ahmadi, adding 83 at over a run a ball. A duck followed for No. 3 Noor Ali Zadran, though, with Ahmadi falling not long after to make it 112 for 3 in 20. While Nasir Jamal and Samiullah Shenwari ensured no collapse ensued, their 54-run stand used up 14 overs, meaning the lower order was faced with a very stiff asking rate towards the end. Captain Mohammad Nabi launched the late charge with 42 off 40 before being run out after consecutive sixes off part-timer Raza.

If Zimbabwe thought that was the end of things, they didn't do so for long: No. 9 Dawlat Zadran blocked the first ball he faced, and slammed two sixes off the next two deliveries in the same Raza over. He proved to be the fatal thorn in Zimbabwe's side, striking two more sixes to tilt the thriller in Afghanistan's favour. The last of those big blows came in the final over, when his side needed four off three. Afghanistan will need a similar team performance if they are to tie the series in the final ODI, which is scheduled for July 24.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kirchoffs_law on July 24, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    Cheers, good to see our neighbors doing. - Indian fan

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    nice job and play well wele done afghan

  • on July 24, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    Just would like to thank all of the non Afghan suports it's make it really special for us and make us more encouraging spcial thanks for ICC and Zimbabwe for providing opportunitys to Afg teams. Regards from Afg

  • on July 24, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    Afg boys showed great performance in 3rd ODI and won the match in 3rd Odi match, lot of ups and downs come b/w match but finnaly Afg won let's see what are they doing today's match? it looks they won't dejected their fans.

  • Deep4770 on July 24, 2014, 4:06 GMT

    Wow Gr8 performance by afghans tiger Nabi is real tiger (Fan from india)

  • on July 23, 2014, 22:43 GMT

    Inshallah afghanistan will win 4 odi Thursday

    Thank u to icc for giving chance to afghanistan to play with test nation zembabwe Inshallah they will became 1st position ranking

  • on July 23, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    I really proud of my team I hope icc provide them more matches with full membership teams

  • on July 23, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    Congratulation to all Afghan nation..

  • on July 23, 2014, 16:07 GMT

    Congratulations to All Afghanistan fans. We are really proud of our team. I am very happy to see that our boys are playing professional cricket and they are no longer struggling. Also I am thankful to Indian supporters for encouraging our team. ICC should give Afghanistan more chances against Test Nations, because Afghanistan is now able to make big troubles for any team. I hope that Afghanistan will make another win to level the series and show that we are no more a weak side.

  • on July 23, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    You guys deserve the win. One more win to tie the series.

  • Kirchoffs_law on July 24, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    Cheers, good to see our neighbors doing. - Indian fan

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    nice job and play well wele done afghan

  • on July 24, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    Just would like to thank all of the non Afghan suports it's make it really special for us and make us more encouraging spcial thanks for ICC and Zimbabwe for providing opportunitys to Afg teams. Regards from Afg

  • on July 24, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    Afg boys showed great performance in 3rd ODI and won the match in 3rd Odi match, lot of ups and downs come b/w match but finnaly Afg won let's see what are they doing today's match? it looks they won't dejected their fans.

  • Deep4770 on July 24, 2014, 4:06 GMT

    Wow Gr8 performance by afghans tiger Nabi is real tiger (Fan from india)

  • on July 23, 2014, 22:43 GMT

    Inshallah afghanistan will win 4 odi Thursday

    Thank u to icc for giving chance to afghanistan to play with test nation zembabwe Inshallah they will became 1st position ranking

  • on July 23, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    I really proud of my team I hope icc provide them more matches with full membership teams

  • on July 23, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    Congratulation to all Afghan nation..

  • on July 23, 2014, 16:07 GMT

    Congratulations to All Afghanistan fans. We are really proud of our team. I am very happy to see that our boys are playing professional cricket and they are no longer struggling. Also I am thankful to Indian supporters for encouraging our team. ICC should give Afghanistan more chances against Test Nations, because Afghanistan is now able to make big troubles for any team. I hope that Afghanistan will make another win to level the series and show that we are no more a weak side.

  • on July 23, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    You guys deserve the win. One more win to tie the series.

  • on July 23, 2014, 13:01 GMT

    wow really nice team work it is appreciated keep it up boys.

  • MAN_AT_WORK on July 23, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    Afganisthan should play more often against Australia, SA,IND or Eng, only those 4 teams are bit better than Afgan tigers at this moment

  • on July 23, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    Kudos to Afghan team, if fasting and have done such an excellent job, you are real Heros and we are proud of you. Young Usman Ghani is a great addition to the team, god bless you all............. BTW thanks to all Indian supporters for encouraging the Afghan team.This explain our reasons for why we love Indian cricket team....

  • Samiullah-Stanikzai on July 23, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    The important things is that there is improvements in every match they played. Hopefully they will win the toss in the 4th ODIs too. The other outcome from this tour is that new young players in the likes of Usman Ghani has emerged with will help alot in the figures. Congratulation to all Afghans

  • NP_NY on July 23, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    Well done Afghanistan! It is unfortunate this match wasn't televised, but some of us in India were following it eagerly on cricinfo. Seems like a perfect chase. Why are Stanikzai and Shehzad not playing? Shehzad is quite a character and cricket needs those characters :). Anyway, Afghanistan surely deserves more chances against test playing nations and eventually test status as they are any day better than Bangladesh.

  • on July 23, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    if afghanistan play without fear and hesitation they can play very well with full member that's the responsibility of there couch to give them high thinking and advise them to play without any pressure their game

  • MeijiMura on July 23, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    As I said before the match, if Afghanistan wanted to get back into the series they had to win the toss and bowl. Luckily for them that's what happened and they won. It is much easier batting in the afternoon in ODIs in Zimbabwe than it is in the morning. Previously Afghanistan took 17.1 overs and 12.5 overs respectively to score their first 50 runs. This time, batting second, it took them just seven overs. Previously it took them 36.1 overs and 23.2 overs respectively to score 100. This time it took them 17.2 overs. That's a huge difference. Zimbabwe didn't help themselves with some poor bowling and fielding and strange captaincy from Taylor to persist with part-timers. Four sixes came from just one part timer's over and that was what cost them the match in the end. Dawlat Zadran was fantastic. He took two wickets, ran out Brendan Taylor and played the decisive innings in the end of 24 not out with four sixes. He should have been awarded the man-of-the-match instead of Masakadza.

  • on July 23, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    well done my tigers you did brilliant job congratulation to all Afghan nation

  • on July 23, 2014, 5:43 GMT

    Ma Shah Allah brothers and Congratulations to all my Afghan brothers! although they are fasting in hot weather of Zimbabwe but till they are winning.

  • Rawidawoodzada on July 23, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    congratulations to Afghan cricket team fans and all Afghans...........

  • anver777 on July 23, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    Good team work !!! a very tough chase by Afghans, looking forward for a repeat performance in the next match too... Keep Going !!!!

  • on July 23, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    Nice job by Afghan team keep up, and thanks Zimbabwe test nation playing with afghan team

  • Wardag on July 23, 2014, 3:51 GMT

    Congratulations Afghan tigers! they are fasting in hot weather of Zimbabwe but till they are winning.

  • on July 23, 2014, 3:43 GMT

    Congratulation well played Afg team huge sixes by dawalt zadran, I think Noor Ali need rest should be swapped for young player from under 19 best luck Afg team for next One day match.

  • on July 23, 2014, 2:52 GMT

    Great Job by AFGHAN Blue Tigers. Keep it up! and bring smiles in our faces. LOVE you all and well played Dawlat Zadran the fastest Tiger

  • on July 23, 2014, 0:31 GMT

    well done afghan boys we prd of u

  • on July 22, 2014, 23:08 GMT

    It was just great job by Afghanistan, they again beat a test nation in its home what more can we expect from them is that they can beat any team if they perform as well, Zimbabwe is a good test nation, but Afghanistan not less than them we thank Zimbabwe for playing with Afg wish to encourage other test nations too.

  • on July 22, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    Great match congratulation to all Afghans >>

  • on July 22, 2014, 22:38 GMT

    congrats to all who suported or not suported afghanistan . I am afghan fun hopelly afg will another.

  • on July 22, 2014, 22:14 GMT

    THE afghan bowlers rae fasting its ramazan and zimbawe is hot not easy for afghan team to play and keep fast, still they do it ,proud of them

  • on July 22, 2014, 21:46 GMT

    congratulations to all afghanistan cricket fans and nation for this great victory and i hope icc and another full member board will give more chance to young and a good team afghanistan...

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 22, 2014, 21:45 GMT

    Such a shame that this match does even feature on the Home Page of cricinfo for the Afghanistanis achievements but instead we have endure 6 articles of India vs England game. A match between no. 4 and no.5. God Bless the big 3....

  • on July 22, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    Victory isn't defined by wins or losses. It is defined by effort. If you can truthfully say, 'I did the best I could, I gave everything I had,' then you're a winner & also to win the game, you don't have to be the most athletic or talented. To win, you must have passion for the game, determination and complete faith in yourself and your team. Well done my Afghan tigers & congrats to all Afghan fan. I would say, over all fantastic performance, especially the surprised + Magic player, Dawlat Zadran. At the end, thank you Zimbabwe for having our team & Cricinfo for at least showing live score card.

  • ZCFOutkast on July 22, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    Brendan Taylor is not captain material. Never has been, and sadly doesn't look like he ever will be. This was a disgrace.

  • MyDogMeows on July 22, 2014, 20:19 GMT

    What a great game! What a fantastic finish by Dawlat made possible by a great team effort. Dawlat hit 24 from 7 balls, 3 dots and 4 sixes. Incredible.

    Zimbabwe is a much tougher opponent than I expected and they are definitely better than Afghanistan right now. However we have proven ourselves a formidable team now and really have nothing else to prove in that regard any more. This is all thanks to Zimbabwe for giving us this opportunity both to uphold their status and to give us credibility. We won't forget it.

    Thank you Zimbabwe.

    In the future I hope Afghanistan's games are televised. I would honestly pay for the video of this match.

  • on July 22, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    Very welldone afghan tiger your the champion

  • CricketingStargazer on July 22, 2014, 19:36 GMT

    Well played Afghanistan and kudos to Zim for playing them knowing that this could happen. More sides need to host the Afghans and give them a chance to learn and to show what they can do.

  • on July 22, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    Great progress and performance by the Afghan team...the good news for Afg is that the young players are doing most of the job... I am very happy for all youngsters including Usman ghani, Ahmadi, Nasir, sharafuddin sharaf and Shafique. I also believe Rahmat shah is a great player, I am sure he will rock in test matches . i rrcomend to chose atleadt four of them should be given a permanet place in the team...keep it up Afg Heros

  • on July 22, 2014, 19:09 GMT

    Indian friend . shehzad is not in form , thats why they rested him . hope he will be back soon but we want to see him on TV matches because he is a big drama boy lol

  • on July 22, 2014, 19:03 GMT

    congrats afgs. it was a gud win. i think taylor errored in giving part time bowlers the final overs. that was the turning point and that 25 run over and the 1 b4 it did put afg on advantage when they were clearly out of the game by that time.

  • pksonker on July 22, 2014, 18:52 GMT

    hey guys I am from India.congrats to Afghanistan .I am a big fan of Mohammed sehzad.please select him.

  • Nduru on July 22, 2014, 18:39 GMT

    Well done Afghanistan. Great fighting win for you guys there! When we (Zim) scored 261 only, I knew it would be tough to win on that pitch. The Zim boys made it hard for you, but that 25 run over was very good, and your bowlers did very well to restrict Zim to that score too, so a well-deserved victory. Your team is very good and I wish we played more often against you.

  • smukhles on July 22, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    It is a good win for a rising team but Afghans are not better than Zimbabwe, not yet. Going to be 3-1.

  • and1son on July 22, 2014, 18:13 GMT

    people are commenting and did not follow the game. with 4 overs to go, Taylor was overconfident and bowled a part-timer instead of a strike bowler and sold the team down the drain because the asking rate was 11.50. I'm happy Afghanistan won but Taylor is all to blame for it. How do you leave your strike bowler with 4 unbowled overs at the end of a match?? I hope he learns the hard way. DON'T finish with a part-timer when you can still mathematically lose.... and they did #TheIrony

  • on July 22, 2014, 18:01 GMT

    I really like and appreciate the performance by both teams. Zimbabwe is a really tough opponent, but today Afghan Cricket Team proved that they can beat many test nation teams. Cricinfo is supposed to deliver full and interesting commentary on these matches the same they do for India, South Africa and other countries. there should be no discrimination! tnx

  • on July 22, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    well first of all congratulations to the ACB for the great performance against a test nation country Zimbabwe. the match was so closed well played by both sides . wish you all the best to ACB for the 4th ODI .

  • on July 22, 2014, 17:54 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast, which bowlers, exactly? Zimbabwe doesn't have any left. They won't have any decent players stay there until the board starts paying them. You should be thankful Taylor is still there.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens if the Afghans or Irish can climb up the rankings into the top 8, if the ICC will then rejig the qualifying for the champions trophy and world cup. Nervous times ahead for some of the weaker full members, things are looking mighty competitive from below.

  • on July 22, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    Congratulation to All Afghanistan cricket fans for this great victory. and i can say that Zimbabwe win two other matchs by luck they won the tosse i m very proud of my team and all players played very well specialy dowlat zadaran what a magic player he is..

  • Snambidi on July 22, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    Zimbabve is an experienced Team of International cricket as comparedvto the recent entry of Afghanistan. Of late cricket is full of Surprises.in the 4 match Onedayer series Afghanistan is in the process of keeping the series alive at 2-1,still leading by Zimbabve. Zimbabve has a high reputation.I mean Nostalgia. In the Wordcup of 1983 which Kapildev won for India by beating The mightiest Team of that year West Indies. In the same worl cup India was about to be knocked out ofvthe Tournament by Zimbabve. Then the escaped from the Jaws of defeat just because of a Superb performance from Skipper Kapila Dev who scored 175 runs to win. Same Zimbabve getting defeated by the minnows of Cricket Afghanistan is rather astonishing. Indeed Afghanistan after their entry into the International arena are fast progressing which is an encouragingbfactor for them.Congratulations!Keep it up !

  • on July 22, 2014, 17:33 GMT

    Congratulation to all Afghans, Not impressed with way the last 12 overs of the chase went, Afghanistan is new in these situations they always make it tough for there-self look at the way Nabi and Sharafuddin Ashraf lost their wickets both of them were run out in critical situation so hope they will learn from these games and do well in 2015 WC. Noor Ali has big problems with spin bowling he has been out by spin bowling in his last 6 ODIs 3 in Asia cup and and 3 in this series coaches need to focus on his spin playing technics other wise he is a good classy player of fast bowling. Shame we can't watch this series live.

  • on July 22, 2014, 17:27 GMT

    Afg board must play some more series before wc 2015 .this will help for preparation wc2015.and they must learn from their mistake and mistake should not be repeat .then I hope this team very soon be on the top .best of luck for next game.

  • Azooz-Afgfan on July 22, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    It was incredible! From Dawlat Zadran hitting 4 SIXES off 7 balls to ensure the 3rd ODI! Usman Ghani is Afghan future Virat kohli. This is the second Fm we beat this year at their own soil means we are climbing up the ladder. Afghanistan all the way!

  • on July 22, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    Zimbabwe has not outplayed Afghanistan so far and both the teams are evenly matched...Zim was lucky enough to win the toss in the first two matches..If Afg had won the toss in the first two matches, the result would be different today... so there was nothing special from Zim .. the major factor in their victor was the toss not their strength .... I bet if Afg wins the toss in the 4th match and field first, it will easily beat Zim...

  • grahaam on July 22, 2014, 17:00 GMT

    ZCF , If Zimbabwe had a bowling coach, then Taylor would have reliable bowlers to call on, making his task straight forward The stand out bowler was a part time bowler in the side for his batting...its the structure not the players ..All the selected bowlers were very poor ..

  • DauD_ on July 22, 2014, 16:59 GMT

    Zimbabwe is a very strong team at home, so I would like to commend the Afghanistan cricket team on winning this ODI. Best of luck to both teams and I hope the 4th ODI is as closely contested as this one. I am an Afghan fan, but I also love the Zimbabwean team and hope they do well against SA and Aus.

  • woodgreen on July 22, 2014, 16:59 GMT

    Enjoyed following this game on cricinfo while at work.Sets up the last game nicely.Shame the sides arent playing a 5 day game on this tour,be better than two games against an "A" team surely.Oppurtunity missed i reckon.Good luck to both teams,may the best side win

  • drzahir786 on July 22, 2014, 16:58 GMT

    Congratulation to All Afghanistan cricket fans for this great victory..

  • sohanpandey578 on July 22, 2014, 16:52 GMT

    Congratulations AFG. It was your 2nd win against Test Playing nation. Wish you all the best for next match.

  • on July 22, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    Congratulation from Germany to the entire Afghan nation for this marvelous victory. Afghanistan can prove itself on any given day if more of such kind of apportunities are given. Thank you ♥Cricinfo♥ for keeping us up-to-date ball by ball and thank you for always encouraging this sad but mad of cricket nation through your sprited articles related to Afghanistan.

  • on July 22, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    Welldone Great AFGHANISTAN! Inshallah Afghanistan will beat more test nation in WC2015.

  • on July 22, 2014, 16:35 GMT

    The team who wins the toss has more winning chance in this ground . Afg could easily win this game if they didn't play slow . also the wicket of Noor Ali in 0 cost them . After beating Bangladesh and Zim .what team is next ? any Opinions ?

  • ZCFOutkast on July 22, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    First of all congratulations to Afghanistan. Zimbabwe messed up in many ways possible and you were good enough to cash in. Zimbabwe should have set a target well beyond 320. But then again Afghanistan should've set a target around 280 too in previous game.

    I found Taylor's Tendulkaresque, risk-free, milestones-for-me-team-later approach to batting in the middle orders rather disturbing. Raza did waste a lot of time in the nervous 90s previous game, but it was strange to see Williams doing the same albeit in the 40s, which shouldn't be the case for such an experienced player against Associates. Hami was brilliant, but must rightly feel he let the team down by not going on to make three figures. Poor cricket by the 22 men in this match make it hard to argue against his undeserved MoM award. How much more evidence does ZC need to prove what a poor captain Taylor makes!? I doubt any other Test nation would tolerate such horrific captaincy. I am utterly appalled by his bowler management.

  • F.Hashimi on July 22, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    Now there is no pressure on Afghanistan, but Zimbabwe will be under pressure since they are a full member team and test playing nation and they were not expecting to loose any game to Afghanistan. Well done Afghanistan. Hopefully Hamid Hassan will be fit for the world cup.

  • MAN_AT_WORK on July 22, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    Afgan can easily beat Bangladesh any day everyday

  • grahaam on July 22, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    So this series appears more even now , with the toss currently controlling the results

  • on July 22, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    Congratulation to All Afghanistan cricket fans for this great victory..

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  • on July 22, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    Congratulation to All Afghanistan cricket fans for this great victory..

  • grahaam on July 22, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    So this series appears more even now , with the toss currently controlling the results

  • MAN_AT_WORK on July 22, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    Afgan can easily beat Bangladesh any day everyday

  • F.Hashimi on July 22, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    Now there is no pressure on Afghanistan, but Zimbabwe will be under pressure since they are a full member team and test playing nation and they were not expecting to loose any game to Afghanistan. Well done Afghanistan. Hopefully Hamid Hassan will be fit for the world cup.

  • ZCFOutkast on July 22, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    First of all congratulations to Afghanistan. Zimbabwe messed up in many ways possible and you were good enough to cash in. Zimbabwe should have set a target well beyond 320. But then again Afghanistan should've set a target around 280 too in previous game.

    I found Taylor's Tendulkaresque, risk-free, milestones-for-me-team-later approach to batting in the middle orders rather disturbing. Raza did waste a lot of time in the nervous 90s previous game, but it was strange to see Williams doing the same albeit in the 40s, which shouldn't be the case for such an experienced player against Associates. Hami was brilliant, but must rightly feel he let the team down by not going on to make three figures. Poor cricket by the 22 men in this match make it hard to argue against his undeserved MoM award. How much more evidence does ZC need to prove what a poor captain Taylor makes!? I doubt any other Test nation would tolerate such horrific captaincy. I am utterly appalled by his bowler management.

  • on July 22, 2014, 16:35 GMT

    The team who wins the toss has more winning chance in this ground . Afg could easily win this game if they didn't play slow . also the wicket of Noor Ali in 0 cost them . After beating Bangladesh and Zim .what team is next ? any Opinions ?

  • on July 22, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    Welldone Great AFGHANISTAN! Inshallah Afghanistan will beat more test nation in WC2015.

  • on July 22, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    Congratulation from Germany to the entire Afghan nation for this marvelous victory. Afghanistan can prove itself on any given day if more of such kind of apportunities are given. Thank you ♥Cricinfo♥ for keeping us up-to-date ball by ball and thank you for always encouraging this sad but mad of cricket nation through your sprited articles related to Afghanistan.

  • sohanpandey578 on July 22, 2014, 16:52 GMT

    Congratulations AFG. It was your 2nd win against Test Playing nation. Wish you all the best for next match.

  • drzahir786 on July 22, 2014, 16:58 GMT

    Congratulation to All Afghanistan cricket fans for this great victory..