Zimbabwe A v Afghanistan, Harare, 4th day July 30, 2014

Mirwais Ashraf six sets up Afghanistan win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Afghanistan 105 (Chatara 5-31) and 321 (Zadran 99, Chinouya 4-92) beat Zimbabwe A 226 (Vermeulen 107, Ashraf 6-35) and 165 (Jongwe 58, Fareed 5-54, Ahmadzai 5-58) by 35 runs

Afghanistan's tour to Zimbabwe just got better. After squaring the ODI series 2-2 with Zimbabwe, the team prevailed in the first of the two four-day matches against Zimbabwe A. Mirwais Ashraf ran through the home side in Harare, picking up six wickets for 35 runs to set up another important win in the developmental stage of Afghanistan cricket.

The match was poised for a thrilling finish on the fourth morning. Zimbabwe needed 54 runs to win, Afghanistan needed four wickets. Zimbabwe had their hopes on Luke Jongwe, the top-scorer in first innings. The momentum, though, had swung Afghanistan's way late on the third day when Ashraf had dismissed the centurion Mark Vermeulen and Richmond Mutumbami.

It took only 12 balls for Afghanistan to impart the first blow as Yamin Ahmadzai had John Nyumbu caught behind for 1. The result was then almost sealed three overs later when Ashraf picked up the wickets of Tendai Chatara and Michael Chinouya off consecutive deliveries. With only the company of No. 11, Jongwe hogged most of the strike but could add only 10 runs more before being bowled by Ahmadzai. Zimbabwe lost their last six wickets for 34 runs, with the last four surviving less than eight overs on the fourth morning.

The second match of the series will be played August 2 to 5 in Harare.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Graham on July 31, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    Hi Afgan fans, the discussion here are in no way meant tto sistract from the great results for Afgan Cricket, It is without doubt that your development is sustained and organised ...Well done

  • Dummy4 on July 31, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    @ kamal u r absolutely right, why some of the Zim fans ignoring the way AFghanistan beaten them it was outstanding team performance. Don't blame your team bcz Afg played much and much better than ur experienced team. Appreciate afg talent the team which has only started cricket just few years back and the way they r progressing is extra ordinary hats of to them if icc pay attention to this team I can surely say that in 2019 world cup this team would one of fav to win the title, in upcoming next four years icc must to get this team very seriesly to give them test statues if Afg progress like this. Thier under19 team has beaten Pakistan under 19 team in pak, beaten Bangladesh U19 twice and lso bested Aus U19 in worldcup and some of thier domestic players showed well performance in last match, this sign it shows the bright future of a team

  • Andrew on July 31, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    Kamal - indeed, Afghanistan is rising fast and deserves credit. But Zim has certainly dropped in standards. Don't expect such an easy ride against other teams is all I am saying - our guys have played so little proper cricket in the last two years that they probably don't even know which end of the bat to hold anymore.

  • Dummy4 on July 31, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    @ Nduru : Do not overshadow the success of Afghanistan,s team , that Afghanistan has won four matches indicates how stronger the team has become now not that Zim has drooped ... our A team has played against other full members too and have either beaten them or have given them a very tough time. and to be honest the squad for the last test with Zim A was not even A of Afghanistan but players from under 19 who had not played in team A before this match.. Yamine and Fareed , the two pacers played their first first class match and each took five wickets ... so lets confess that Afghanistan is currently stronger than Zim and lets not overshadow their success ....

  • Andrew on July 31, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    ZCFoutkast: Grahaam is 100% correct. We have failed to retain our best players, even though we continue to produce very good young cricketers all the time (and yes, Jongwe is a very exciting prospect). But you seem to have selective myopia on certain issues buddy. Our A teams would ALWAYS have beaten the A teams of minnows in the past. Of course they did not do as well against other test A teams - but at least they get to play more regularly while now we can only scrape up a few matches with low ranked teams as everyone knows our standards have dropped. The mere fact that Afghanistan have won four matches so far on this tour is testament to how far we have dropped.

  • Graham on July 30, 2014, 20:38 GMT

    @ZCFOUTKAST you keep referring to the past and former players ..., what happened is important and the moment Hick left for England was symbolic..it helped the then ZCU attain test status as a means to preserve the obvious local talent this country was capable of producing ...Following Hick came the Flowers , Campbell, Olonga , Taibu , Streak etc etc . The little nation continued and continues to produce fine raw material .Ballance , Higgins, Jarvis and now Jongwe , Geyle etc etc etc..but they are not retained as a unit and the ZC problems are the only reason Zimbabwe are now par with Afghanistan. If all the players Zimbabwe produced were there as a unit things would be fine now. South Africa"A" are currently playing the same game against Aus "A" attempting to play a politically correct team, rather the best that they could select, and pay the price on the field. Back to basics is the only answer...BEST PLAYERS FIRST!!! its a system we all understand. it works!!

  • Graham on July 30, 2014, 20:01 GMT

    These nations are now at Par in cricketing terms...what happens next?

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    it was a tremendous victory to a young afghan team , I hope it will help to open the door for full membership in the near future

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    This victory gives us the happy news that Afghanistan,s team is getting close to get the full membership. I can,t believe that a squad with 90% players from under 19 beat a strong Zim A side which had many experienced players in it at their home .. this shows the depth in the Afghanistan,s team... good luck for Zim in the next match but if zim goes with same players to play series with SA , this could result into a disaster as we have noticed in the match that many of the Zim,s batsmen were not comfortable with fast bowlers and lost many wickets to the pace balers too... so facing bowlers like Styne and Morkel will be very challenging for them..By the way I wish good luck for them

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    @Shaun Price. Good question - im sure it started off as a first class match, half way through i noticed that it was Afghanistan A rather than Afghanistan., so maybe that had something to do with it. This should be a FC match, just like the Scotland v Netherlands international matches a few weeks ago should be at least List A. Why A matches anyway, its not the first choice Afghan and Zimbabwean teams are overrun with fixtures

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