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Afghanistan rise as Zimbabwe slumps again

Zimbabwe bundled out for only 82 in low-scoring game at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Afghanistan rise as Zimbabwe slumps again - Cricket News
Amir Hamza took 4 for 17 as Afghanistan defeated Zimbabwe by 49 runs in the first ODI.
Amir Hamza and Mohammad Nabi built on the base set up by Noor Ali Zadran to guide Afghanistan to a memorable 49-run win in a low-scoring tie against Zimbabwe in the first One-Day International at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday (December 25).
After Noor Ali guided Afghanistan to a lowly 131 on a surface which had plenty in it for the spinners, Zimbabwe was in trouble from the start and it was eventually bundled out for 82 from 30.5 overs.
In retrospect, it was a good toss for Afghanistan to win. Asghar Stanikzai elected to bat and Afghanistan got off to a good start courtesy a 30-run stand between Noor Ali and Mohammad Shahzad.
Afghanistan lost a couple of wickets before Noor Ali restored parity by adding 35 runs for the fourth wicket with Stanikzai but Graeme Cremer ruined the party with his loopy legspin. The 29-year-old from Harare, who has 65 wickets from 56 ODIs, picked up five wickets and conceded a mere 20 runs from 9.5 overs.
Noor Ali was eventually dismissed by Chamu Chibhabha for a well-made 63 from 82 deliveries. Sikandar Raza and Wellington Masakadza finished with a wicket apiece but by conceding less than three runs an over, they had done their bit.

Zimbabwe's response began to falter from the second ball of the match as Chibhabha was bowled by Hamza, who opened the bowling with his left-arm orthodox. There was more trouble in store as Mirwais Ashraf scalped Craig Ervine and Richmond Mutumbami in his first over.

Elton Chigumbura (28) and Peter Moor (21) provided Zimbabwe with some relief by adding 35 runs for the fourth wicket but Hamza brought an end to Moor's vigil to instigate a collapse. Nabi got rid of Chigumbura a few overs later and picked up another couple of wickets along the way to finish with figures of 3 for 15 from 5 overs. Hamza trapped Taurai Muzarabani in front of the stumps to put an end to Zimbabwe's resistance to finish with four for 17 from 7.5 overs.
The second tie of the five-match ODI series will be held at the same venue on December 29.

To view the full scorecard, please click here.

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