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  1. #1
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    Zimbabwe's tour of Afghanistan (UAE) 2021

    Afghanistan have named a 19-man squad for their two-Test series against Zimbabwe, starting 2 March in the UAE.

    The squad will be led by Asghar Afghan, who was reappointed as the captain after Rashid Khan.

    Afghanistan last played a Test in November 2019, an one-off encounter against West Indies, which they lost by nine wickets.

    The squad features a host of new faces with Abdul Malik, Munir Ahmad Kakar, Shahidullah Kamal, Bahir Shah Mohboob, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Saleem Safi and Zia Ur Rahman Akbar all without a Test cap to their names.

    Sayed Ahmad Shirzad also has no Test experience but the medium pacer has featured in two ODIs and four T20Is since his debut in early 2019.

    Hashmatullah Shahidi, who was not a part of the side that tackled West Indies, finds his way back in the squad.

    Two names missing from the Test side are Zahir Khan and Ihsanullah with the former being named as a reserve along with Abdul Wasi Noori. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Afghanistan's third-ranked T20I bowler, finds no place in the squad once again despite having played one Test.

    The two-match Test series begins on 2 March in Abu Dhabi, the second match will start on 10 March. Zimbabwe have already named their squad for the series.

    Squad: Asghar Afghan (c), Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Javed Ahmadi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Nasir Jamal, Abdul Malik, Munir Ahmad Kakar, Shahidullah Kamal, Bahir Shah Mohboob, Rashid Khan, Amir Hamza, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, Saleem Safi, Wafadar Momand, Zia Ur Rahman Akbar, Yamin Ahmadzai


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  2. #2
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    Afghanistan’s leg spinner Rashid Khan is set to miss the first Test against Zimbabwe after picking up a finger injury playing for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League 2021. The 22-year-old has played four Tests for Afghanistan so far and has picked up 23 wickets so far. He has taken 3 five-wicket hauls already in his brief Test career with best figures of 6 for 49.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  3. #3
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    Teams:

    Afghanistan (Playing XI): Abdul Malik, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan(c), Afsar Zazai(w), Munir Ahmad, Amir Hamza, Yamin Ahmadzai, Zahir Khan, Abdul Wasi

    Zimbabwe (Playing XI): Kevin Kasuza, Prince Masvaure, Sean Williams(c), Wesley Madhevere, Tarisai Musakanda, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva(w), Donald Tiripano, Blessing Muzarabani, Victor Nyauchi

    Afghanistan have won the toss and have opted to bat.

  4. #4
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    Afghanistan are 9/2 in the first half hour of the match.

    Blessing Muzarabani has taken both wickets for Zimbabwe.

  5. #5
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    28 / 2

    Afghans need a steady partnership here

  6. #6
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    Afghan run rate is pretty solid , what they need is a good partnership.

  7. #7
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    OUT

    Munir Ahmed was gone.

  8. #8
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    Zardan batting on 24 now , he has got a start , needs to carry on and get a big innings.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justcrazy View Post
    Zardan batting on 24 now , he has got a start , needs to carry on and get a big innings.
    How is the pitch playing and expected to play in the coming days ?

  10. #10
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    Interesting looking wicket with lots of grass left on there. But Afghans just not showing the necessary application, inexperience clear to see as 4 down now just past the first hour.

  11. #11
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    Half the Afghan side is down. Reckon Zimbabwe must be the more experienced side in the longer formats of the game due to their long history and a better system compared to Afghanistan.

  12. #12
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    Rashid Khan will sit out of the match with a finger injury

    So left PSL and not playing.


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  13. #13
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    So this is Afghanistan's first ever multi-Test series.

    Zimbabwe have much more FC experience though which is showing.

  14. #14
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    AFG 131 (47) CRR: 2.79
    Day 1: Tea Break


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  15. #15
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    I've never seen a greener pitch in Abu Dhabi than this.

  16. #16
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    Don't think the longer format suits the Afghans they lack the discipline and temperament

    Should stick to white ball cricket

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazkhan View Post
    Don't think the longer format suits the Afghans they lack the discipline and temperament

    Should stick to white-ball cricket
    They need some time & honestly, I think they're much better in test cricket as compared to Bengalis who are playing test cricket for more than 20 years

  18. #18
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    I’m sure aleem dar was umpiring at psl few days ago, he gets around, no quarantine as well?

  19. #19
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    Whats wrong here? The pitch or the way they are batting.

  20. #20
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    Zimbabwe were in deep trouble before the two experienced campaigners Raza and Williams provided stability to the batting. They are looking fine now.


  21. #21
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  22. #22
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    Williams half-century bolsters Zimbabwe on a day for the bowlers

    Zimbabwe came out on top after stumps were drawn on day one of their first Test against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi, reaching 133/5 at stumps for a lead of two runs.

    Captain Sean Williams’ half-century was a big reason for Zimbabwe’s strong standing at the end of the day, given how well the bowlers had acquitted themselves at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium stadium on Tuesday, 2 March.

    Blessing Muzarabani and Victor Nyauchi ensured Afghanistan, who had opted to bat, had a difficult time of it when they combined for seven wickets to bowl the hosts out for 131 in 47 overs.

    Afghanistan’s left-arm spinner Amir Hamza then hit back at Zimbabwe, taking 4/61 to dismantle the top order, before Williams and Sikandar Raza put on a solid fifty partnership to revive the innings.

    The morning belonged to the Zimbabwe pacers. Muzarabani and Nyauchi bowled fast and tight lines to make life tough for the Afghanistan top order, and the tone was set within the first three overs. Muzarabani had Abdul Malik – one of three Afghanistan debutants – cleaned up with the very first delivery of the day.

    In his next over, he forced the edge from Rahmat Shah (6) and Afghanistan were 8/2. Munir Ahmad hung around offering Ibrahim Zadran some company but managed just a 23-ball 12 before becoming Nyauchi’s first wicket. Zadran himself fell three overs later, for a 41-ball 31.

    When Hashmatullah Shahidi then had two of his stumps knocked back by a ripping Nyauchi yorker, Afghanistan’s troubles were underlined at 69/5.

    It was an exercise in damage limitation thereafter. Afsar Zazai scored a resolute 70-ball 37 to boost the scorecard, while captain Asghar Afghan (13) and Amir Hamza (16*) scored valuable runs to take the total past the 100-mark.

    However, it didn’t take long for the Zimbabwe pacers to run through the line-up, and Afghanistan were all out by tea.

    It was Zimbabwe’s turn to face the heat in the final session. And this time, it was all spin, with Hamza foxing four of Zimbabwe’s top five batsmen, three of them within the first 15 overs. Zimbabwe lost their first wicket, Kevin Kasuza within four balls of their innings when Yamin Ahmadzai cleaned him up for nought.

    Hamza then took over, finding the gap between bat and pad to snuff out Tarisai Musakanda (7). Opener Prince Masvaure was the next to fall, six overs later, and when the young Wesley Madhevere fell first ball to Hamza, Zimbabwe seemed to be in as much trouble as Afghanistan were in the morning, at 38/4.

    However, experienced campaigners Williams and Raza helped negotiate Zimbabwe out of the tricky spot. They very gritty as they blunted the Afghanistan spinners, and gradually had the runs flowing again. Afghanistan were soon chasing leather all over the park, as the duo took their partnership past the 50-run mark.

    Unfortunately for Zimbabwe, Raza became Hamza’s fourth wicket late in the day after he went hard at a delivery, and gifted a catch after miscueing it. Williams saw Zimbabwe through till stumps, and the visitors claimed the lead late on.

    They will hope to add a lot more to the total on the second day.

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/2051033?sf139642151=1


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  23. #23
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    Afghanistan and Zimbabwe are up against each other in the first Test match of the two-match series at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The first day of the Test match between the two nations scripted history as the 44-year-old Ahmed Shah Pakteen became the first from Afghanistan to be an on-field umpire in the purest format of the game. He was accompanied by Aleem Dar from Pakistan on the field as the other on-field umpire for the game.

    Ahmed had made his debut in the international circuit as an umpire in January 2017. Thus far, he has stood in 15 One Day Internationals and 20 T20 Internationals. Previously in 2019, Pakteen had become the first Afghanistan member to essay the role of a TV umpire during the only Test that was played between Afghanistan and Ireland. Later in January 2020, he became the first Afghanistani to don the hat of an umpire at an event hosted by the International Cricket Council.

    Ahmed had officiated at the Men’s Under-19 World Cup in South Africa. In the ongoing Test between Zimbabwe and Afghanistan, Ahmed Shah Durrani is essaying the role of the TV umpire. He registered his name as the second from Afghanistan after Pakteen to be a TV umpire in the longest format of the game. Durrani made his international umpiring debut in December 2016 and has been an on-field umpire 19 times in white-ball cricket.

    Notably, Afghanistan doesn’t have even a single representative in the 12-member elite panel of umpires, the highest category of umpires decided by the International Cricket Council (ICC). However, in the international panel of umpires, there are four names from Afghanistan including Ahmed Shah Pakteen, Ahmed Shah Durrani, Bismillah Jan Shinwari, and Izatullah Safi.

    With Pakteen making his Test debut as an on-field umpire, Ireland remains the only full-member nation of ICC to not have any on-field umpire from their country yet. The nation has featured in only three Test matches thus far and Mark Hawthorne is the only one to have essayed the role of the TV umpire. Mark was the TV umpire in Ireland’s debut Test, against Pakistan in 2018.

    https://www.crictracker.com/ahmed-sh...d-test-umpire/


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  24. #24
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    Zimbabwe 193/6
    First Innings

    Williams 75*
    Chakabva 36*
    Amir Hamza 4/73

    Afghanistan 131

    Zimbabwe lead by 62 runs

  25. #25
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    Zimbabwe 215/7
    First Innings

    Williams 87*

    Afghanistan 131

    Zimbabwe lead by 84 runs

  26. #26
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    Afghanistan 131 & 0/0
    Zimbabwe 250

    Sean Williams 105
    Amir Hamza 6/75

    Zimbabwe lead by 119 runs

  27. #27
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    Afghan trail by 119 runs. Hundred by Williams, Zimbabwe in driver's seat.

  28. #28
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    Afghan lose first wicket.

  29. #29
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    Excellent hundred from Williams. ZIM recovered well from 38-4 to reach 250.

    AFG look a seamer light.

  30. #30
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    Awful from AFG, now 21-5.

  31. #31
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    Why are Mujeeb and Nabi playing in the PSL and not for Afghanistan?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raja Ishtiaq View Post
    Why are Mujeeb and Nabi playing in the PSL and not for Afghanistan?
    One has retired, the other has been regarded as a LOI specialist

  33. #33
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    Innings defeat to Zimbabwe that too in the UAE.

  34. #34
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    Afghanistan 47/6 (2nd inns)
    Trail by 72 runs

    Victor Nyauchi 3/14
    Blessing Muzarabani 2/6

  35. #35
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    Muzarabani is a good young bowler.
    Zimbabwe still a level above Afghanistan and Bangladesh in test cricket.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ethan hunt View Post
    Muzarabani is a good young bowler.
    Zimbabwe still a level above Afghanistan and Bangladesh in test cricket.
    Agree on Muzarabani.

    However, it seems that the pitch is surprisingly helpful for fast bowling. Not a conventional UAE wicket, it has pace and bounce. The Afghan batsmen are fairly inept against pace.

    If it was a typical UAE wicket, Zimbabwe might have struggled.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Monetarist View Post
    Agree on Muzarabani.

    However, it seems that the pitch is surprisingly helpful for fast bowling. Not a conventional UAE wicket, it has pace and bounce. The Afghan batsmen are fairly inept against pace.

    If it was a typical UAE wicket, Zimbabwe might have struggled.
    Untill both Bangladesh and Afghanistan start to put emphasis on pace bowling both will continue to struggle in the longer form.
    Point is people jump the gun after a few flash in the pan performances.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ethan hunt View Post
    Muzarabani is a good young bowler.
    Zimbabwe still a level above Afghanistan and Bangladesh in test cricket.
    He made a smart decision in taking up a County Kolpak deal for a few years which would've helped his development more than playing Zimbabwe's FC competition.

    He then returned last year to Zimbabwe duties. Still needs to build his strength, built like a beanpole. But has potential to be Zimbabwe's best bowler since Heath Streak.

  39. #39
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    Afghanistan’s batting has been dismal, but one positive is the opener Ibrahim Zadran who is looking very solid and playing some good shots.

  40. #40
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    1st Test • Afghanistan v Zimbabwe in UAE, 2021

    AFG 131 & 135 (45.3)

    ZIM 250 (72)

    Day 2: Innings Break - Afghanistan lead by 16 runs


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  41. #41
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    It's not just the Afghan players having a rough time, but the Afghan umpire.

    Just turned down the most plumb LBW decision you'd see from Amir Hamza's bowling.

    Not that it'll matter much, ZIM need only 16 to win.

  42. #42
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    Man the commentary is at another level.

    Anyways, a superb performance by Zimbabwe.

  43. #43
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    1st Test • Afghanistan v Zimbabwe in UAE, 2021

    ZIM 250 & 17/0 (3.2)

    AFG 131 & 135 (45.3)

    Zimbabwe won by 10 wkts


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  44. #44
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    Professional performance from Zimbabwe.

    If they had more interest in Cricket, better governing body, they would been way better team than useless team like Bangladesh.

  45. #45
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    Rashid Khan was injured for this match. Next match he will be back and will be bit boost for his side. Expect a better performance in the next match from Afghanistan.

  46. #46
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    Excellent by Zimbabwe.


    'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold'

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mesozoic View Post
    Man the commentary is at another level.

    Anyways, a superb performance by Zimbabwe.
    Pakistan will have their work cut out in the Zimbabwe tour this year I feel. And this isn't even the full strength Zim side playing, its pretty much Zim B and they are hammering Afghanistan in conditions more suited to Afghanistan.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDfanforever View Post
    Professional performance from Zimbabwe.

    If they had more interest in Cricket, better governing body, they would been way better team than useless team like Bangladesh.
    I think Zimbabwe will overtake Bangladesh in the Test rankings, if they win the next one too.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by szrana007 View Post
    I think Zimbabwe will overtake Bangladesh in the Test rankings, if they win the next one too.
    Many Bangladeshi fans rank Bangladesh team higher than or on par with Pakistan but Pakistani fans rank Bangladesh lower than Afghanistan.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artaxerxes View Post
    Many Bangladeshi fans rank Bangladesh team higher than or on par with Pakistan but Pakistani fans rank Bangladesh lower than Afghanistan.
    Well, Bangladesh is ranked below Afghanistan in ICC Test rankings anyway, so no need for fans to rank them.

  51. #51
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    Afghanistan is touring Australia this year. I don't even want to imagine what will happen to them. Could be record thrashing like an innings and 500 runs defeat.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by szrana007 View Post
    Well, Bangladesh is ranked below Afghanistan in ICC Test rankings anyway, so no need for fans to rank them.
    You are right.I checked the latest ICC rankings and it shows Afghanistan above Bangladesh.I was under the impression that Afghans were at the bottom.

  53. #53
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    I follow Zimbabwe cricket quite closely, I have a soft corner for them, and I can tell you when they got suspended by the ICC in 2019, it was pretty much a point when they knew they had to turn things around or perish forever.

    ZC have done a lot of good things since their suspension got lifted, like clearing majority of the massive debt they had, having full FC seasons, ensuring they get more international fixtures (they have Pak, Ban, Ire series lined up right after this), clearing players pay on time, getting back Muzarabani from Kolpak deal, and the players too have stepped up, they even won an ODI in the super over against Pakistan.

    Afghans mostly focus on T20 format and most of their players will struggle in the longer formats, even in ODIs, as we saw during the WC, Afghanistan aren't as good as people expect them to be.

  54. #54
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    Afghans lack patience.Test cricket is different from T20 cricket.

  55. #55
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    Afghanistan need to sort out a first class structure if they want to compete in tests. This was a pathetic batting performance.

    Great win for Zimbabwe.

  56. #56
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    2nd Test, Abu Dhabi, Mar 10 - 14 2021, Afghanistan v/s Zimbabwe

    Afghanistan has won the toss and elected to bat first. Rashid Khan returns to the playing 11.


    Teams:

    Afghanistan (Playing XI): Ibrahim Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Nasir Jamal, Afsar Zazai(w), Asghar Afghan(c), Shahidullah Kamal, Rashid Khan, Amir Hamza, Sayed Shirzad

    Zimbabwe (Playing XI): Prince Masvaure, Kevin Kasuza, Tarisai Musakanda, Sean Williams(c), Wesley Madhevere, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva(w), Donald Tiripano, Blessing Muzarabani, Victor Nyauchi

    Afghanistan have won the toss and have opted to bat
    Last edited by MenInG; 10th March 2021 at 10:43.

  57. #57
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    Afghanistan 34/1 in 7 overs.

  58. #58
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    Afghanistan batting at 5 rpo. They bat like it's an Odi.

  59. #59
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    Afghanistan 47/1 in 10 overs

  60. #60
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    A far more typical Abu Dhabi pitch for this test.

    After Ahmadi’s terrible little innings at the start Afghanistan have batted well. The only other dismissal being the self inflicted run out of Rahmat.

    Zadran impressing once again.

  61. #61
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    Hashmatullah Shahidi (42*) and Asghar Afghan (38*) have taken Afghanistan to 187/3 at tea on day one.


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  62. #62
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    This looks more of a typical Abu Dhabi pitch.

    Steady batting from Afghanistan.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artaxerxes View Post
    You are right.I checked the latest ICC rankings and it shows Afghanistan above Bangladesh.I was under the impression that Afghans were at the bottom.
    I think Bangladesh fans are probably the most deluded in the world.

  64. #64
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    AFG 276/3 (80.1 ov)
    Hasmatullah 79 (193) & Asghar (84 (114).

    New Ball taken just now

  65. #65
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    Congratulations to Asghar Afghan, the second Test centurion in Afghanistan cricket history.

    This has been very sensible batting from the pair.

  66. #66
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    Will this pitch become difficult for the batsmen ? As of now the Afghans are getting runs for fun and there has been nothing close to falling a wicket in a long time. The Afghans are batting too comfortably here..I hope this isn't too flat a track that could lead to a draw

  67. #67
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    Looks like Afghanistan has asked for a pretty flat wicket after that 2 day loss... They are very lucky to have won the toss here.

    Zimbabwe do not have Taylor and Ervine in their line up though, so this could get a bit tricky for them if their young players do not step up.

  68. #68
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    Day 1 Stumps

    AFG : 307/3.
    A terrific unbroken stand of 186 between Asghar Afghan and Hashmatullah Shahidi has taken Afghanistan to 307/3 at the end of day one

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  69. #69
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    Afghanistan ended the opening day of the second Test against Zimbabwe in a commanding position thanks to captain Asghar Afghan’s maiden Test century.

    After opting to bat first, Afghanistan posted a daunting 307/3 by stumps on the first day, with Afghan’s century backed by half-centuries from Ibrahim Zadran (72) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (86*).

    It was a markedly improved batting performance from Afghanistan, who were bundled out for 131 and 135 in the first Test of the series, which Zimbabwe won by an easy 10 wickets.

    There would have been fears of a repeat when in just the second over of the day, Victor Nyauchi had Javed Ahmadi dismissed for four. Ahmadi attempted an expansive cover drive early in his innings, but could only edge it to third slip where Sean Williams took a comfortable catch.

    Rahmat Shah then partnered Ibrahim in a 50-run stand to revive the innings. Rahmat did the hard work, his 23 coming off 45 balls, but paid the price for ball-watching when he was run out pushing for a third run.

    Zimbabwe had very little to cheer about thereafter as first Shahidi and then Afghan came to the middle. The highlight of the day was the counter-attacking innings from Afghanistan captain, whose 135-ball 106* is now the record highest individual Test score by an Afghanistan batsman, overtaking Rahmat’s 102.

    The Zimbabwe fast bowlers troubled the batsmen only in the first half-hour with the new ball, bowling at the off-stump channel and swinging the odd ball in. Shahidi and Ibrahim made sure to see-off the new ball, and increased the run-rate once the ball had become softer.

    Playing on a different surface at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, the Zimbabwe bowlers struggled, with Nyauchi and Ryan Burl restricted to a wicket each.

    Afghanistan did not lose a single wicket in the final session, hammering 120 runs at 3.87 runs per over. Their dominance continued as Afghan and Shahidi stitched together 186 in 293 balls – the record-highest partnership for Afghanistan in Tests.

    With plenty of batting still to come, Zimbabwe have a daunting task on the second morning.


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  70. #70
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    320. 3

    Hashmatullah getting close to hundred here

  71. #71
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    200 runs partnership so far!

  72. #72
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    What kind of patta have they prepared here. Afghans scoring tons and making records for fun..Afghans are trailing the series it the Pitch remains a patta they might not be able to win the match and series will belong to Zimbabwe.

  73. #73
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    Hashmatullah gets to a hundred

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafa View Post
    What kind of patta have they prepared here. Afghans scoring tons and making records for fun..Afghans are trailing the series it the Pitch remains a patta they might not be able to win the match and series will belong to Zimbabwe.
    They are banking on Rashid Khan to win them this one.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justcrazy View Post
    They are banking on Rashid Khan to win them this one.
    You think Rashid will get assistance on this surface ? He is not very exceptional in Test Cricket and Zimbabwean spinners have not got any assistance from the surface so far , like they did in the first match.

  76. #76
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    248 runs partnership so far , who would have thought Afghans would have such a big partnership.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafa View Post
    You think Rashid will get assistance on this surface ? He is not very exceptional in Test Cricket and Zimbabwean spinners have not got any assistance from the surface so far , like they did in the first match.
    My Gutt feeling is that he will get some wickets , a big first-innings total can put scoreboard pressure on Zimbabwe .

  78. #78
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    Afghans may want to bat till Tea today and get a big total here , may be bat all day today

  79. #79
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    AFG 532/4 (158 ov)
    Hasmatullah 191 & Nasir Jamal (52) going strong with a partnership crossing 200 runs

  80. #80
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    Seems like a ridiculous pitch


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