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

Afghanistan keep series alive with team performance

ESPNcricinfo staff

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

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

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

  • Android on July 24, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    nice job and play well wele done afghan

  • Dummy4 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

  • Android 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.

  • Deep on July 24, 2014, 4:06 GMT

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

  • ESPN 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

  • Dummy4 on July 23, 2014, 17:58 GMT

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

  • Dummy4 on July 23, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    Congratulation to all Afghan nation..

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 on July 23, 2014, 15:42 GMT

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

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