HOSTS Zimbabwe will be looking to build on a dominant six wicket victory in the first One Day International over a vastly improving Afghanistan side on Friday to surge two-nil up in the four-match series when the two teams clash in Bulawayo today.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
Top order batsman Sean Williams starred with the bat, knocking 70 runs off 65 ball to ensure that Zimbabwe chase down the 224 target set by the visitors in the first match. Captain Brendan Taylor contributed 43 runs and Sikandar Raza Butt 42 as opener Vusi Sibanda’s batting woes continued, falling for a paltry 2 runs early in the innings.
Despite losing the first match the Afghans showed glimpses of a side able to cause an upset against their much fancied opponents as they continue to prepare for their maiden ODI World Cup appearance in 2015.
Of note was Captain Mohammad Nabi who assaulted the Zimbabwean bowlers with a 54 run blitz in just 32 balls to transform the Afghanistan total into a respectable target.
Samiullah Shenwari also scored a composed half century for the Asian minnows, an unbeaten 65 while Noor Ali Zadran scored a meticulous 107 ball 43 and will pose a perpetual threat to the hosts’ attack in today’s encounter.
Zimbabwe’s win in the first ODI was far from fluid as Andy Waller’s men showed signs of vulnerability due lack of game time but should get stronger and more destructive as the series progresses. On the bowling front, the disciplined Tendai Chatara continued to lead the attack and bagged two wickets in the first match while Donald Tiripano had a fairly pleasing debut grabbing two wickets.