6,6,6,6,6,6,6! Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran entertain crowd in record-breaking stand versus Zimbabwe
Afghanistan's duo Najibullah Zadran and former skipper Mohammad Nabi were involved in a record-breaking fifth-wicket stand in the ongoing second match, versus Zimbabwe, of the tri-nation T20Is in Bangladesh on Saturday. While the duo's blitz towards the end of the innings propelled the team score to a daunting 197 for 6, Nabi and Zadran entertained the crowd with as many as seven sixes in a row during their 107-run stand.
Opting to bowl first, Zimbabwe bowlers struggled from the onset whereas Afghanistan's aggressive approach took them by surprise. The foundation was laid by the likes of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and starts from the top-order batsmen, but it was Nabi and Zadran's late onslaught that included seven straight sixes and saw them stitch the second-highest fifth-wicket stand in the format.
The fireworks started from Nabi's willow in the 17th over bowled by Tendai Chatara. The former skipper took on Chatara's juicy full-toss, full-length deliveries and made full use of the boundary lengths to add 24 runs off the last four balls of the over. In addition, Zadran joined the party and smashed Neville Madziva for a hat-trick of sixes in all corners.
To add to Zimbabwe's woes, the Afghan pair registered the second-highest fifth-wicket stand in the format; falling short of Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq's stand (119) by a dozen runs. Overall, Nabi and Zadran's partnership included 15 boundaries to take Afghanistan to 197 for six.
At the time of publishing this report, Zimbabwe were struggling in the tall run-chase with 53 required off 12 balls. Skipper Rashid Khan remained the main tormentor for the African nation with 2 for 29 in his full quota of overs.
The series opener was played between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, which went down to the wire. In pursuit of 145, the hosts were tottering at 60 for 6 before youngster Afif Hossain bailed the side out of the crisis with a match-winning 26-ball 52 not out in an 18-over contest.