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In-form Zimbabwe looking to continue good run

Afghanistan faces a tough challenge in second ODI, as it seeks to level scores in five-match series

In-form Zimbabwe looking to continue good run - Cricket News
Zimbabwe celebrates a wicket.
Zimbabwe will have its spirits up when it locks horns with Afghanistan in the second One-Day International at the Queen’s Sports Club in Bulawayo on Sunday (October 18).
 
Zimbabwe lived up to the tag of being the favourite in the first of the five ODIs when it easy beat Afghanistan by eight wickets, and given the form the side showed, the players will back themselves to repeat the feat.   
 
The one thing that worked for Zimbabwe during the series against Ireland, which it won 2-1, and the first ODI, was its bowling. Zimbabwe has been able to put on consistent performances with the ball due to incisive spells from the likes of Wellington Masakadza and Luke Jongwe. Tinashe Panyangara hasn’t had the best of times off late, but he has managed to create pressure at one end while the others have combined to pick off the wickets. Tendai Chisoro benefited from this in his debut ODI against Afghanistan in the first match.
 
Wellington has been on target. The left-arm spinner, who made his debut against Ireland in the first ODI, has been on the dot since his start. He went for runs in a couple of ODIs but he has managed eight wickets since, and that’s a good sign for Zimbabwe.
 
The batting has also worked brilliantly for Zimbabwe. Led by the likes of Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza and Chamu Chibhabha, the top order has come good on most occasions in the recent past. The only time its batting unit faltered was in the third ODI against Ireland when the side was all out for 187 – a total Ireland chased down after being made to work hard. 
 
Afghanistan has been in the country since the start of October and played warm-up games against Zimbabwe Chairman’s XI. It will therefore hope for a stronger performance in the second ODI.
 
In the first match, it was outplayed by a more clinical side, with the batsmen tied down by Zimbabwe’s bowlers. The one thing that Inzamam-ul Haq, their new head coach, had to cheer about by the end of that game was that his wards showed signs of improvement in the fielding department.
 
Should Afghanistan manage to get the other two facets of the game right on Sunday, it will provide Zimbabwe with a good challenge, but given the kind of form the home side is in, Afghanistan will have to work hard to turn the challenge into a threat.
 
Teams (from):
 
Zimbabwe: Chamu Chibhabha, Richmond Mutumbami (wk), Brian Chari, Sean Williams, Elton Chigumbura (capt), Sikandar Raza, Tino Mutombodzi, Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Taurai Muzarabani, John Nyumbu, Tendai Chisoro, Neville Madziva, Tinashe Panyangara, Craig Ervine.
 
Afghanistan: Asghar Stanikzai (capt), Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran, Aftab Alam, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Najibullah Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf, Shafiqullah, Samiullah Shenwari, Nawroz Mangal, Mohammad Nabi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Fareed Ahmad, Amir Hamza.

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