Seven straight sixes see Afghanistan surge past Zimbabwe
Dhaka, Sept. 14: Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi combined for seven consecutive sixes as Afghanistan cruised to a 28-run T20I tri-series victory over Zimbabwe.
A day after losing to Bangladesh in a close opening match of the tournament, Zimbabwe's defeat this time always looked likely as they had no answer to some big Afghanistan hitting in Dhaka.
After Afghanistan posted 197-5, Zimbabwe only managed 169-7 and never looked like reaching the target.
Zadran fired a career-best 69 not out from 30 balls in an innings that included six maximums, while Nabi hit 38 from 18 as part of a 107-run fifth-wicket partnership that proved decisive.
The standout period of that double act, which saw Afghanistan surge from 90-4 to their final total, came in the 17th and 18th overs.
Nabi smashed four consecutive maximums off the bowling of Tendai Chatara (2-53), before Zadran started the next over with three sixes in a row against a hapless Neville Madziva, whose wicket-less three overs went for 34.
After a wide, Zadran thought he had an eighth straight six only for a video review to reveal his shot over point had dropped just inside the rope.
Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz's 43 had earlier set the foundations, his effort ending when the impressive Sean Williams (2-16) trapped him lbw.
Zimbabwe's chase was doomed as soon as they lost two wickets in three balls to conclude the fourth over, Fareed Ahmad (2-35) ending the innings of Brendan Taylor (27) before removing Williams for a duck.
With captain Hamilton Masakadza (3) having already been run out, Zimbabwe were 30-3 and forced to consolidate, with Regis Chakabva's flamboyant 42 not out coming too late in the day as Rashid Khan claimed 2-29.
Hosts Bangladesh take on Afghanistan in the third match of the tri-series on Sunday, looking to avenge a Test defeat this week.