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Shahzad powers Afghanistan to series win

Chasing 161, Oman falls short by 12 runs despite good hands from Zeeshan Maqsood, Khawar Ali and Jatinder Singh

Shahzad powers Afghanistan to series win - Cricket News
Mohammad Shahzad struck a 46-ball 60 to help Afghanistan post 160 for 4.

Afghanistan sealed the two-match Twenty20 International series against Oman 2-0 with a 12-run win in the second game at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday (November 30).

Chasing 161 to level the series, the Oman innings had several promising knocks but the batmen failed to deliver the knockout punch and the team could post just 148 for 8.

Oman made a great start to its chase. Zeeshan Maqsood (24 in 14 balls) hammered 16 runs in the first over from Yamin Ahmadzai. The big over meant Asghar Stanikzai, the captain, took Ahmadzai out the attack and asked Rokhan Barakzai to bowl the third over. Maqsood struck Barakzai for a boundary but the bowler got his revenge the very next ball when he had the opener caught by Gulbadin Naib. 

The Afghanistan bowlers did well to bounce back and kept the pressure on, and after Aaqib Sulehri fell, Khawar Ali and Jatinder Singh added 44 runs in 8.1 overs. At the halfway mark, Oman needed 96 runs and had eight wickets in hand but failed to carry on under the pressure put by the Afghanistan bowlers and fell short once Khawar (38 in 40 balls) and Jatinder (28 in 26 balls) were dismissed.

Ahmadzai returned for a good spell, his three overs netting three wickets for 18 returns as he finished with 3 for 34.

Earlier in the day, Mohammad Shahzad and Shafiqullah helped Afghanistan post a healthy 160 for 4. Afghanistan was asked to bat and Bilal Khan (2-24) dismissed Usman Ghani in the third over to give the team the first breakthrough. 

Shahzad and Stanikzai then ensured that they build a platform for a late onslaught. The two added 47 runs for the second wicket in 6.2 overs before Maqsood (2-20) dismissed Stanikzai for a run-a-ball 19.

Karim Sadiq (24 in 19 balls) played the perfect second fiddle to Shahzad but failed to carry on, and Afghanistan was on 105 for 3 when Maqsood dismissed him.

Nine runs later, Oman got the wicket of Shahzad, bowled by Bilal, but not before he had hammered a 46-ball 60 even as Shafiqullah hammered two sixes and a four in his 18-ball 32 and help Afghanistan take the total beyond Oman’s reach.

Afghanistan had won the first the first game at the same venue by 27 runs. 

To see the full scorecard of this game, please click here

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