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Taibu and Noor cancel each other out as Zimbabwe XI v Afghanistan ends in draw

Afghanistan was set an unlikely 374 runs for victory on the final day of its ICC Intercontinental Cup match

Taibu and Noor cancel each other out as Zimbabwe XI v Afghanistan ends in draw - Cricket News
A match that promised so much ended in a tame draw as Afghanistan was set an unlikely 374 runs for victory on the final day of its ICC Intercontinental Cup match against Zimbabwe XI at Mutare.

In the end, the Afghans scored 211-4 before the captains shook hands to acknowledge the stalemate and the end of the game. Although it didn't manage to win the game outright, Afghanistan will take great confidence from the match as it heads to the Netherlands later this week for another ICC Intercontinental Cup match and two ODIs.

Nowroz Mangal's team will take nine points compared to Zimbabwe XI's three from the match because it was ahead after the first innings and, were it not for the contribution of Tatenda Taibu, the Africans would have been in serious trouble.

The former Test captain made a total of 292 runs in the match to make sure Zimbabwe XI did not lose the match while on day four his efforts were backed up by Trevor Garwe (117) and Chris Mpofu, who was left not out on 30 by the time the declaration came with nine wickets down and the match effectively saved.

It was a particularly successful game for Afghanistan opener Noor Ali who followed up his first-innings knock of 130 with another century (off just 81 balls) the second time around.

Meanwhile, nine thousand kilometers or so north of Mutare, Scotland and Ireland have been fighting it out in Aberdeen and at the innings break on day three the match was drifting away from the home team as it was set a formidable target of 298 runs to win.

A William Porterfield century swung the pendulum in Ireland's favour. The captain was well supported by Andrew White (55) as the pair put on 115 for the fifth wicket and meaningful contributions from the tail meant Ireland crept up to 303 before the last wicket fell.

Scotland will have to bat brilliantly in the final session on day three and all day tomorrow to turn the match back in its favour having taken the six points on offer for the first-innings lead. At the time of writing Scotland had begun its run-chase badly, losing the wicket of Fraser Watts with just one run on the board. Live scoring of this match is available at www.icc-cricket.com.

Heading more than 5,000km south and west to Hamilton and host Bermuda is in trouble in a low-scoring ICC Intercontinental Shield match against Uganda. At the conclusion of its second innings, David Hemp's side set Uganda a meagre target of 111 to win.

A 10th-wicket partnership of 29 between David Lovell and Tamauri Tucker gave Bermuda a semblance of hope but Uganda will still be confident of knocking off the runs required and take maximum points from the match.

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