After two disappointing losses in third and fourth ODI, Afghanistan pulled up their socks to win the fifth ODI and the series 3-2. Afghanistan posted a win by 106 runs via Duckworth Lewis method to win the fifth ODI. This was the third time that Afghanistan posted a series win over Zimbabwe. Cricwizz takes a look at five reasons Afghanistan posted a big over Zimbabwe in fifth ODI.
A good toss to win: The team that has batted first in this ODI series has won three times out of four. Besides, with rain looming large during the series, a team batting second can be at a disadvantage due to change in the nature of the pitch and the non-reliable Duckworth-Lewis method. Hence, for Afghanistan, it was a good toss to win in the fifth ODI. Zimbabwe had to face a target with a required run-rate of 7.31 in 22 overs compared to the original 5.06 in 50 overs.
A combined team batting effort: Afghanistan batting was a big let down in the third and fourth ODI. However, they learned from their mistakes and came up with combined batting effort to put up a competitive score of 253/9. From Noor Ali Zadran’s 46, Rahmat Shah’s 50, to Mohammad Nabi’s 48, every batsman made an effort to help Afghanistan put up a match-winning total.
Late flourish: Afghanistan needed someone to end the innings in a flourish. The ever-reliable Mohammad Nabi and the lower-order batsmen put their hands up to do the job for Afghanistan. Nabi’s 40-ball 48, Rashid Khan’s 17-ball 18, and Dawlat Zadran’s 6-ball 14 saw Afghanistan put up a total beyond Zimbabwe reach. They made 94 runs in last 81 balls to take the game away from Zimbabwe.
Double strikes each by Dawlat Zadran and Amir Hamza: Both the bowlers made sure Zimbabwe could not even run Afghanistan close during the chase. They took the first four Zimbabwe wickets with as little as 13 runs to the scorecard. That broke the backbone for Zimbabwe and they could not make any comeback from there.
Good supporting act by other bowlers: Nabi and Rashid made sure there was no comeback of sorts from Zimbabwe by polishing off their tail. They took five lower-order wickets to dismiss Zimbabwe for 54 runs and help Afghanistan to a big win by 106. Overall, it was a great team effort by Afghanistan cricket team.