Afghanistan continue to dominate Zimbabwe

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By Associated Press

Najibullah Zadran has smashed a six off the second ball of the last over as Afghanistan beat hosts Zimbabwe by six wickets in the first of three Twenty20 internationals.

Afghanistan, who’d already swept the hosts 3-0 in the one-day international series, needed eight runs off the final over on Saturday, after Zimbabwe had reached 8-159.

There was anticipation in the vocal small crowd at Harare Sports Club when the host’s star fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani was handed the ball for the last over to defend his team’s total.

But Zadran collected two runs off the first ball before hitting Muzarabani over square leg for the maximum on the second delivery as Afghanistan reached 4-160 to win with four balls to spare.

Earlier, Sikandar Raza had top-scored for Zimbabwe with 45 in a measured innings.

Afghanistan seamer Nijat Masood took 3-39 on his international debut.

“It is the dream of every player to represent his country and to win a debut match,” Masood said.

“I bowled in the good areas. That is how I was rewarded and took wickets.”

Openers Hazratullah Zazai (45) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (33) gave Afghanistan a strong start in the chase.

Three of the Afghanistan wickets fell to the leg spin of Zimbabwe’s Ryan Burl.