Fast bowler Dawlat Zadran took a hat-trick as Afghanistan came from behind to beat two-time former world champions Windies by 29 runs in an ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 warm-up match at the Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.
Zadran claimed the wickets of Shimron Hetmyer (caught at gully by Najibullah Zadran), Rovman Powell (caught at the wicket by Mohammad Shahzad) and Carlos Brathwaite (lbw) on successive deliveries of his fifth over as the Windies, chasing a revised target of 140 in 35 overs by the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method, slipped from 99 for five in the 20th over to 99 for eight before being bowled out for 110 in 26.4 overs.
Zadran, who had earlier accounted for Shai Hope, finished with outstanding figures of 7-1-26-4. Left-arm spinner Sharafuddin Ashraf and wrist-spinner Rashid Khan picked up two wickets apiece, while Mohammad Nabi and Shahpoor Zadran bagged a wicket each.
For the Windies, Evin Lewis was the top scorer with 36, while Marlon Samuels scored 34. Chris Gayle (9), Shai Hope (1), Jason Mohammed (0), Hetmyer (1) and Powell (9) all missed out on useful batting practice on a good surface.
Earlier, a rain-break helped Afghanistan to recover from a precarious 82 for eight in 25.4 overs to a competitive 163 for nine in 35 overs. When play resumed, Gulbadin Naib and Samiullah Shenwari came out all guns blazing and added 81 runs in the remaining 9.2 overs to give their bowlers with something to bowl at.
Gulbadin Naib hit a 38-ball 48 with three fours and two sixes, while Samiullah Shenwari returned not out on 42 from 55 balls. For the Windies, fast bowlers Sheldon Cottrell, captain Jason Holder and Kesrick Williams bowled with a lot of aggression and fire to share seven wickets between them.
While Afghanistan and the Windies were able to hit the ground running, albeit in a reduced overs game, Ireland and Zimbabwe were not that lucky when their match at the Queens Sports Club was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to a wet outfield following morning rains.
Elsewhere, the Netherlands defeated Hong Kong by eight wickets, defending champions Scotland overpowered Papua New Guinea (PNG) by seven wickets and Nepal surprised the United Arab Emirates by five wickets.
The Netherlands beat Hong Kong by eight wickets
The Netherlands were in a hurry when they chased down a revised 153-run target in 46 overs (by the DLS Method) with eight wickets and 10.1 overs to spare. Openers Wesley Barresi (47) and Max O’Dowd (45) added 84 runs for the first wicket and then Barresi and Ben Cooper (40 not out) added 57 runs for the second wicket.
For Hong Kong, Babar Hayat was the standout batsman when he scored 85 with 10 fours and two sixes, while the Netherlands fast bowler Paul van Meekeren was the most impressive bowler with figures of 9-4-17-4
Scotland overpower PNG by seven wickets
Scotland opener Matthew Cross hit an unbeaten century as the defending champions overhauled PNG’s 196 in 46.2 overs with seven wickets and more than 13 overs to spare. Cross scored 101 not out from 124 balls with four fours and five sixes, and added 68 runs for the first wicket with Kyle Coetzer (46) and 94 for the unbroken fourth wicket with Craig Wallace (32 not out).
Earlier, PNG, who have appeared in all the World Cup qualifiers since 1979, were bowled out for 196 in 46.2 overs with Sese Bau (53) and Assad Vala (39) as the main run-scorers. Wickets were evenly shared between Mark Watt (three for 22) and Tom Sole (three for 32).
Nepal beat the UAE by five wickets
Nepal were quick to make an impact when they defeated the UAE by five wickets. Chasing 172 in a reduced 29-over-a-side fixture, Nepal romped to victory with four balls to spare after even contributions from Dipendra Airee (41), Sharad Vesawkar (41 not out), Paras Khadka (28) and Arif Sheikh (23 not out).
Earlier, Lalit Bhandari returned figures of four for 40 as the UAE scored 171 in 28.5 overs. Ashfaq Ahmed was the top scorer with 42, while Adnan Mufti contributed 37.
Scores in brief:
Afghanistan beat Windies by 29 runs, Harare Sports Club (target revised to 140 runs in 35 overs by the DLS method)
Afghanistan 163-9, 35 overs (Gulbadin Nain 48, Samiullah Shenwari 42 not out; Sheldon Cottrell 3-43, Jason Holder 2-27, Kesrick Williams 2-34)
Windies 110 all out, 26.4 overs (Evin Lewis 36, Marlon Samuels 34; Dawlat Zadran 4-26, Rashid Khan 2-7, Sharafuddin Ashraf 2-21)
Netherlands beat Hong Kong by eight wickets, Old Hararians, Harare (target revised to 153 runs in 46 overs by the DLS method)
Hong Kong 157 all out, 41 overs (Babar Hayat 85, Shahid Wasif 24, Nizakat Khan 15, Tanwir Afzal 15; Paul van Meekeren 4-17, Pieter Seelaar 2-17)
Netherlands 155-2, 35.5 overs (Wesley Barresi 47, Max O’Dowd 45, Ben Cooper 40 not out)
Scotland beat PNG by seven wickets, Bulawayo Athletic Club, Bulawayo
PNG 196 all out, 46.2 overs (Sese Bau 53, Assad Vala 39, Lega Siaka 29; Mark Watt 3-22, Tom Sole 3-32)
Scotland 197-3, 36.4 overs (Matthew Cross 101 not out, Kyle Coetzer 46, Craig Wallace 32 not out; Assad Vala 2-12)
Nepal beat UAE by five wickets, Kwekwe Sports Club, Kwekwe (match reduced to 29-over-a-side)
UAE 171 all out, 28.5 overs (Ashfaq Ahmed 42, Adnan Mufti 37, Ghulam Shabbir 32, Mohammd Usman 26, Shaiman Anwar 16; Lalit Bhandari 4-40, Karan KC 3-38, Lalit Rajbanshi 2-30)
Nepal 172-5, 28.2 overs (Dipendra Airee 41, Sharad Vesawkar 41 not out, Paras Khadka 28, Arif Sheikh 23 not out; Amir Hayat 2-15)
Zimbabwe v Ireland, Queens Sports Club – match abandoned without a ball being bowled due to wet outfield
Fixtures for Thursday, 1 March (warm-ups, matches start at 09h30 local time)
At Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo, Scotland v Ireland. For further information, please contact Scotland team manager Graeme Stewart at +263 715 235 864 and Ireland team manager Chris Siddell at +263 (0) 715235871
At Bulawayo Athletic Club, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe v PNG. For further information, please contact Zimbabwe team manager Lovemore Banda at +263 (0) 712456956 and PNG team manager Dou Mavara-Sere at +263 715 235 866
At Harare Sports Club, Harare, UAE v Windies. For further information, please contact UAE team manager Andrew Russell +263 715 235 877 and Windies team media manager Philip Spooner at +263 777 688 727
At Old Hararians, Harare, Afghanistan v Netherlands. For further information, please contact Afghanistan team manager Shir Agha Hamkar at +263 715 235 872 and the Netherlands team manager Rob Kemming at +263 715 235 865.
At Kwekwe Sports Club, Kwekwe, Hong Kong v Nepal. For further information, Hong Kong team manager Iqbal Jawaid at +263 715 235 863 and Nepal team manager Raman Shiwakoti at + 263 715 235 878