Mohammad Nabi 40(27); | Shafiqullah Shafiq 14(27);
Kyle Jarvis 3.4-0-24-1; | Blessing Muzarabani 4-0-36-2
20:36 Local Time, 16:36 GMT, 22:06 IST: Zimbabwe finish on 120. Enough? I don't think so, specially with dew playing a factor. Zimbabwe got off to a flyer with the openers scoring 50 inside six overs. But, Mire's dismissal opened the floodgates. The African side slid from 52/0 to 85/8 - courtesy some tight bowling from the Afghanistan bowlers. Malcolm Waller played a good little cameo towards the end which ensured that the Zimbabweans had something to defend. Can we expect a close contest? Join us for the chase in a short while.
Blessing Muzarabani, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Rashid Khan to Chatara, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
Aftab Alam [2.0-0-8-1] is back into the attack
Tendai Chatara, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Rashid Khan to Jarvis, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
Rashid Khan [2.0-0-8-1] is back into the attack
Gulbadin Naib [2.0-0-4-1] is back into the attack
Kyle Jarvis, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Sharafuddin Ashraf to Cremer, THAT'S OUT!! Caught&Bowled!!
Sharafuddin Ashraf [3.0-0-31-1] is back into the attack
Malcolm Waller, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Rashid Khan to Ryan Burl, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
Graeme Cremer, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Nabi to Moor, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Mohammad Nabi, right-arm off break, comes into the attack
Peter Moor, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Sharafuddin Ashraf to Raza, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Ryan Burl, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Sharafuddin Ashraf to Brendan Taylor, THAT'S OUT!! Run Out!!
Naib to Masakadza, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
Gulbadin Naib, right-arm medium, comes into the attack
Brendan Taylor, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Aftab Alam to Mire, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Aftab Alam, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Sharafuddin Ashraf, left-arm orthodox, comes into the attack
Masakadza and Mire are at the crease. Masakadza is on strike. Mujeeb will open the attack
Zimbabwe (Playing XI): Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Brendan Taylor(w), Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Peter Moor, Malcolm Waller, Graeme Cremer(c), Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani
Afghanistan (Playing XI): Mohammad Shahzad(w), Asghar Stanikzai(c), Shafiqullah Shafiq, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Sadiq, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Gulbadin Naib, Aftab Alam, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Mujeeb Zadran
Afghanistan have won the toss and have opted to field
Hello everyone! A warm welcome to our coverage of the first T20I between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe to be played at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium. Afghanistan have always had the upper hand against Zimbabwe when it comes to the shortest format of cricket. In fact, they have an excellent record when it comes to T20Is. Remember, they were the only team to beat T20 champions Windies during T20 WC 2016 in India? Also, we'll get to see the return of Mohammad Shahzad after a one-year ban for doping and he'll be itching to perform. The explosive wicket-keeper batsman has a prolific record against Zimbabwe - his highest T20I score of 118* came against the same opposition in January, 2016 at this same venue. Will he fire in his comeback game tonight? We shall find that out soon! Toss and teams coming up in a bit.
PreviewAnd yet again, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe are out to battle it out against each other; one in its ever-running fight to join the league of the big boys and the other in its endevour to justify its belongingness in the club, a bright legacy which has been on the fade for over a decade now.It was less than a year ago that the two teams had faced off in a five-match One-Day International series, with Afghanistan comprehensively sealing the thriller to win the series 3-2. The quest this time begins in the T20Is, followed by a five-match ODI series.Through a good challenge against Zimbabwe, Afghanistan have constantly given a good account of themselves in the past two years, not simply through applause-worthy performances in defeats, but through outright victories. Head to head, they have fared better against the African side. And as a reward for the consistent improvement, they have been rewarded with a Test status.However, when the two teams renew another bout of their battle, Afghanistan would do good to realise that the Zimbabwe of 2018 might have familiar names in their ranks but are a different side, a side full of hope and possibilities, both socially and in cricketing terms. It's a side of the post-Mugabe regime, it's a side with the return of Brendan Taylor who believes that Zimbabwe cricket deserves better.Purely on paper, Afghanistan have a much stronger team, brimming with talent. It is filled with players, who have stuck around for a really long time and helped Afghanistan scale the heights they have and as quickly as they have. They will be buoyed by the return of the destructive wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shehzad, who was serving a one-year ban for doping. However, it has been their inability to do justice to that talent on a regular basis collectively which has proved to be their biggest nemesis. To bring the talent together and help them fire in unison will be the first major task of the newly-appointed head coach Phil Simmons.Zimbabwe, on the other hand, paint quite a poor picture on paper. If their recent form is anything to go by, performances don't have too many surprises from what the paper shows. Away from home, in UAE, it remains to be seen how well they use their new-found sense of hope and positivity against one of the easier international challenges.When: Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe, 1st T20I, 3 PM local timeWhere: Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, SharjahWhat to expect: The sky is expected to be clear with the temperature hovering around 24 degrees Celcius.Team News:Afghanistan: Wicketkeeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad returns to the national side after serving a one-year ban for doping. This series will also be Phil Simmons's maiden coaching assignment with AfghanistanZimbabwe: It is learnt that Ryan Burl and Brian Vitori have joined the squad that was in Bangladesh while Christopher Mpofu, Murray and Mavuta went home to join the Zimbabwe A squad that is playing Kenya.
Zimbabwe (From): Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Malcolm Waller, Blessing Muzarabani, Peter Moor(w), Hamilton Masakadza, Graeme Cremer(c), Solomon Mire, Sikandar Raza, Brian Vitori, Tendai Chisoro, Ryan Burl, Tendai Chatara, Kyle Jarvis
Afghanistan (From): Mohammad Shahzad(w), Asghar Stanikzai(c), Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shenwari, Nasir Jamal, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran
With just one more T20I to go, Zimbabwe need to come back strong tomorrow. Difficult, given they have now lost six out of six T20Is to Afghanistan, but it's certainly not impossible. Looking forward to a better contest tomorrow, ta-ta!
21:58 Local Time, 17:58 GMT, 23:28 IST: Convincing from Afghanistan, despite the fact that they've lost five wickets in a small chase. It was all set up by the bowlers in the first innings, who dragged Zimbabwe from scoring 50 inside 5 overs to just 120/9 in 20 overs. Slower balls from pacers did the trick and then Rashid Khan picked three on a sluggish pitch. Shahzad scored a quickfire 20 on his return from the one-year doping ban and despite wickets falling regularly, Nabi's 27-ball 40 made short work of the chase.
Kyle Jarvis [3.0-0-11-1] is back into the attack
Shafiqullah Shafiq, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Muzarabani to Najibullah, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Blessing Muzarabani [2.0-0-19-1] is back into the attack
Najibullah Zadran, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Ryan Burl to Sharafuddin Ashraf, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
Ryan Burl, right-arm leg break, comes into the attack
Afghanistan need 64 runs in 72 balls
Graeme Cremer, right-arm leg break, comes into the attack
Sharafuddin Ashraf, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Chatara to Stanikzai, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
Tendai Chatara [1.0-0-14-0] is back into the attack
Mohammad Nabi, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Muzarabani to Mohammad Shahzad, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Blessing Muzarabani, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Asghar Stanikzai, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Jarvis to Sadiq, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Tendai Chatara, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Mohammad Shahzad and Sadiq are at the crease. Mohammad Shahzad is on strike. Jarvis will open the attack