Mighty Taylor Blasts Afghanistan To Level Series
A smashing effort with the bat, fronted by Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza, and a solid bowling effort led by Tendai Chatara and Graeme Cremer helped Zimbabwe trump Afghanistan by a whopping 154 runs in the second of five One-Day Internationals in Sharjah on Sunday (11 February).
Batting first, Zimbabwe looked good for a big score for the most part, but Taylor’s 125 and Raza’s 92, and the 155 runs they put together for the fourth wicket raised the pitch and took them to 333/5. Afghanistan, with a mountain to climb, slipped to 36/5 in no time and then managed to get to 179 in 30.1 overs. Chatara was the star of the bowling show, picking up three of the first four wickets to fall on his way to returns of 3/24 in eight overs, and Cremer took over after that to finish with 4/41.
The Zimbabwe batsmen, especially Taylor and Raza, exploited the short boundaries at the ground after Cremer won the toss and opted to bat, slamming 26 fours and 14 sixes.
Mujeeb Zadran, the 16-year-old spinner opened the bowling again and struck early again as Solomon Mire was trapped in front for nine in the third over. But it started to get away from Afghanistan after that as Hamilton Masakadza and Taylor, with a combined experience of 355 ODIs before this game, got going.
Together, they added 85 runs for the second wicket to take Zimbabwe to 95 before a terrible mix-up, which ended with the batsmen standing mid-pitch, forced Masakadza to go back after a 54-ball 48, with five fours and two sixes.