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Nabi gives Afghanistan advantage on first day

Mangal hits 51 not out after Nabi's 6-33 helps bowl Namibia out for 190

Nabi gives Afghanistan advantage on first day - Cricket News
Mohammad Nabi took 6 for 33.

Nawroz Mangal led Afghanistan’s charge with the bat after Mohammad Nabi, the off-spinner, starred with the ball to put Afghanistan in a strong position on the first day in its four-day match against Namibia in the ICC Intercontinental Cup on Sunday(August 4) in Windhoek.

Nabi took 6-33 to help bowl Namibia out for 190, and Mangal was batting on 51 to take Afghanistan to 62-1 at stumps, trailing by 128 runs.

Namibia had a solid start as Xander Pitchers and Pikky Ya France put up a 49-run partnership for the first wicket. Shapoor Zadran provided Afghanistan with its first breakthrough in the 15th over when he dismissed Pitchers for 22. What followed was a mini collapse as Namibia was left reeling at 83-5 in the 30th over.

Namibia’s only significant score came from the bat of Stephen Baard who scored 72 runs in 106 balls with nine fours and one hit over the boundary. Baard and Gerhard Erasmus tried to rebuild the innings with a 56-run stand between them for the sixth wicket in which Erasmus score only six runs taking the score to 139.

Nabi then cleaned up the tail quickly, returning with his best figures in first-class matches and not allowing Namibia to build any lower-order partnerships. Rahmat Shah picked up two wickets whereas Shapoor Zaardan and Izatullah Dawlatzai picked up one wicket each.

Given Namibia's below-par total, Afghanistan batsmen weren't under too much pressure, but they began watchfully, scoring at less than two runs per over for the first 21 overs and ensuring that no wickets were lost. Mangal, the Afghanistan captain, completed his fifth half-century off 78 balls scoring steadily as Shabir Noori took a while to get going scoring 8 runs off 89 balls before being trapped lbw by Sarel Burger.

The only consolation for Namibia was the economical bowling of Craig Williams, Sarel Burger and Christi Viljoen who gave away runs at less than two runs per over and bowled eight maidens between them.

With three days left in the match, Afghanistan will be eyeing a big first-innings total to ensure it doesn't let slip the advantage the bowlers have built.

Brief Scores: Afghanistan 62/1 in 29 overs (Nawroz Mangal 51 batting, Shabir Noori 8; Sarel Burger 1-7) trail Namibia 190 all out in 64.2 overs (Stephen Baard 72, Pikky Ya France 30; Mohammad Nabi 6-33) by 128 runs.

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