Afghanistan 283 for 4 in 47.2 overs (Rahmat 100*, Najibullah 89*, Wheal 2-51) v Scotland Match abandoned
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Scotland's first ODI at home in more than two years ended in frustrating fashion, with the first game of the two-match series against Afghanistan finishing in a no result. Yet the partisan Afghanistan crowd got their money's worth - and a steal it was for the £10 charged at the gate - before play was abandoned with Afghanistan at 283 for 4 in 47.2 overs, courtesy Rahmat Shah's maiden ODI ton and a career-best 89 not out from Najibullah Zadran.
The visitors kicked off their seven-match European ODI tour in menacing fashion, Rahmat and Najibullah producing arecord fifth-wicket partnership for Afghanistan in ODIs. They added an unbroken 157 - the fourth best for any wicket in ODIs for Afghanistan - after coming together at 126 for 4 in the 31st over.
While Rahmat ended the day ahead of Najibullah in the runs column, the 23-year-old left-hander evoked a more emotional response from the vocal Afghanistan supporters in the crowd, with chants of "Na-jib! Na-Jib! Na-Jib!" growing louder after each six.
Rahmat was on 40 before Najibullah faced his first ball, and the frenetic rollercoaster ride began three balls into the 32nd over, when an edged drive off Alasdair Evans barely eluded the reach of wicketkeeper Matthew Cross for the first of Najibullah's nine fours. His second boundary in the following over, a Brad Wheal half-tracker creamed over midwicket, was a portent of what was to come.
After Rahmat brought up his fifty off 88 balls with back-to-back pulled fours, Rahmat turned the steering wheel to Najibullah, who flashed two more boundaries, before rain stopped play for the first time with the score at 180 for 4 in 39 overs. A 100-minute break ensued with lunch taken early to ensure no overs were deducted.
Upon resumption, Rahmat briefly became the aggressor with four more boundaries before Najibullah took over. He targeted Evans midway through the 42nd and a booming drive over mid-off was the first of five sixes. A single off Wheal in the 43rd brought up his fifty in 35 balls before he smashed two sixes off debutant Ruaidhri Smith over mid-off in the 44th over. Najib then shifted his focus to the midwicket fence in the 46th, hammering a free-hit from Safyaan Sharif into the practice nets before Evans was heaved over the same region to end the 47th.
Amid the fireworks supplied by Najibullah, Rahmat inconspicuously made his way to 99 for the start of the 48th and a single took him to three figures in 123 balls.
Najibullah was on 87 off 52 balls and with 17 balls remaining in the innings, he looked set to break the Afghanistan record for the fastest ODI century, jointly held by Karim Sadiq against Netherlands and Mohammad Shahzad against Scotland in 72 balls.
Rain, however, had returned to impact proceedings, the free-hit in the prior over came after Sharif - struggling to grip the damp ball - bowled a beamer that cleared Najibullah's head by two feet and was desperately knocked down by a leaping Cross to prevent five extras. After Najibullah pushed for two on the second ball of the 48th, the umpires took the players off for good.
Scotland had made a reasonable start, after inserting Afghanistan, with Wheal producing extra bounce to clip the shoulder of Noor Ali Zadran's bat as Cross snapped up the chance in the third over to make it 7 for 1. Shahzad survived a strong lbw shout from Evans in the following over, while on 6, and then feasted on the fast bowler for three boundaries in a see-saw eighth over. Evans, however, hit back with a full ball to have Shahzad lbw for 26.
Rahmat joined Javed Ahmadi for an assured 53-run stand that was broken when Ahmadi couldn't keep a Sharif yorker out. Captain Asghar Stanikzai made 20 before Wheal beat him for pace with a short ball and had him fluttering a pull to Con de Lange at mid-on. Wheal got carried away with the short-ball strategy against Rahmat and Najibullah, and paid the price with inflated figures of 2 for 51 in nine overs. It was Evans, though, who struggled the most to find a consistent length and was left nursing the most expensive figures of the day - 1 for 73.
The two sides return to the Grange on Wednesday, with more promising weather on the horizon, for the second and final match of the series. Afghanistan then depart for Belfast, where they will take on Ireland in a five-match ODI series.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna
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