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05 October 201414:21

Ghani, Mangal make short work of Auckland

Afghanistan restricts opposition to 201 for 8 before knocking off the runs for the loss of just one wicket

Ghani, Mangal make short work of Auckland - Cricket News

Afghanistan's bowlers restricted Auckland to 201 for 8 before chasing the target down with nine wickets in hand.

Usman Ghani's century was the highlight of the day as Afghanistan, riding on the opener's 112-ball 107, registered a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Auckland in a rain-affected match of the ICC Associate Member High Performance Programme Tour of Australia and New Zealand on Sunday (October 5).

Ghani, who struck eight boundaries and five sixes, stitched together a 198-run opening partnership with Nawroz Mangal, who remained unbeaten on a run-a-ball 77 (7x4, 3x6) to help Afghanistan cruise to the 202-run target in just 31.3 overs after the match was reduced to a 45-overs-a-side affair at Bay Oval, Mount Maungauni. Rain, in fact, had led to the match spilling over on to Sunday after having started on Saturday.

Auckland, who chose to bat, was on the mat at 58 for 4 after losing Martin Guptill, Anaru Kitchen and Carl Cachopa, three of their top four batsmen, for single-digit scores before Mirwais Ashraf castled Jeet Raval (33 in 52 balls) to push it further on the back foot.

As if that wasn’t enough, Colin Munro was forced to retire hurt on 8 and it wasn’t until play resumed on Sunday that the fightback started. It was the duo of Rob Nicol, the captain, and Brad Cachopa, the wicketkeeper, that led the recovery with an 83-run fifth-wicket stand. It was the run out of Nicol, who was batting on 38, that ended the association.

Afghanistan’s bowlers made some further inroads after that, and Brad Cachopa fell when he was caught off Dawlat Zadran for 49 off 66 balls.

A brief resistance from the tail followed, but Afghanistan’s bowlers had inflicted enough damage to restrict Auckland to 201 for 8 from the allotted 45 overs.

Dawlat was the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan, finishing with 3 for 30 off nine overs. Yamin Ahmadzai returned figures of 2 for 46, while Aftab Alam and Mirwais Ashraf contributed with a wicket each.

Mangal and Ghani’s opening stand effectively finished off the game after that. It was Donovan Grobbelaar who provided the lone breakthrough when he had Ghani bowled, before Hashmatullah Shaidi joined Mangal to complete the formalities.

To see the scorecard and review the match in full please click here.

Afghanistan's upcoming fixtures:

October 7 -
v Northern Districts

October 9 - v Northern Districts