Destructive Najib makes it 3-0 for dominant Afghanistan
An entertaining 35 ball 72 from left-hander Najibullah Zadran propelled Afghanistan to yet another T20I Series whitewash- This time beating Zimbabwe in the Abu Dhabi Sunshine T20I Series at Zayed Stadium. Zadran provided an eventful late flourish to Afghanistan’s innings after good knocks from Usman Ghani (39) and Karim Janat (21) as Afghanistan succeeded by 47 runs ultimately.
Having won the toss, skipper Asghar Afghan opted to bat first in the final match of the series eyeing his 42nd win as Captain in T20Is- The most for any captain surpassing MS Dhoni’s tally of 41 in the format. Afghanistan, boosted by Najib’s onslaught on Zimbabwean bowlers, eventually posted 183/7 in the allotted 20 overs.
In response, Zimbabwe were restricted to 136/5 in the 20 overs as Afghan bowlers- including the debutant Fazal Haq Farooqi – kept it tight and limited the scoring opportunities leading to yet another comfortable triumph for the home side. Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl continued with good form from the previous game presenting some resistance to Afghan attack in the mid-innings scoring 41 and 39 respectively. However, Zimbabwe had already lost wickets early as the required run rate was getting out of hand, eventually resulting in their third successive loss in the series.
The three match series triumph for Afghanistan against Zimbabwe followed a drawn Test series earlier at the same series between both teams. The triumph also meant Afghanistan jumped one spot to be placed at Number.7 in the latest ICC T20I rankings.