Live Cricket Score: Afghanistan V Zimbabwe Tri-Series 5. T20I > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Live Cricket Score: Afghanistan v Zimbabwe, tri-series, 5th T20I

Hamilton Masakadza led from the front in his final international innings

Ending on a high

He wasn't there till the end but Hamilton Masakadza's 42-ball 71 has ensured a Zimbabwe victory as the African side bow out of the tri-series with a consolation seven-wicket win. That's the end of Masakadza's 18-year-old international career and what a way to sign off. Regis Chakabva and Sean Williams too contributed with the bat, with the latter remaining unbeaten as Zimbabwe win with three deliveries to spare. This was the only victory for Zimbabwe in the tri-series, and also their first T20I win against Afghanistan, and they'll be off next to Singapore with Williams taking over the leadership role. Meanwhile, this series isn't done yet. Bangladesh and Afghanistan face off tomorrow for an inconsequential tie, which will only serve as a dress rehearsal for the final that will be played on September 24.

Zimbabwe inch closer

Chakabva was dismissed by Mujeeb. Meanwhile, Williams was dropped by the same bowler. The small window of opportunity Afghanistan had seems to have gone.

Farewell innings comes to end

Ah, Dawlat has ended Masakadza's fairytale innings. He looked set to get a ton in his final international game, but when a batsman is in that zone, it is hard to stop him from playing more shots and taking more chances. He tried to thump Dawlat but could only mistime it to the fielder in the deep on the on-side. Every Afghanistan cricketer rightly congratulated the veteran as he walked back to the pavilion. Who can forget a 17-year-old Hamilton composing a ton on his Test debut versus West Indies in 2001? Well done Masakadza on a fine career.

Masakadza's fireworks

Masakadza is flaying the bowlers to all corners of the ground. He clouted Niazai down the ground and in the next over, he even took on Rashid Khan by bludgeoning a googly over midwicket.

Masakadza on song

Hamilton Masakadza is on fire. He is on a mission in his final international game! He tonked Nabi into the downtown territories for a six and then clubbed the next delivery for a boundary. He also reached his fifty at a strike rate of close to 200!

Taylor falls after quick start

The African nation certainly want to end the tour on a high. Masakadza, playing in his final international game, is leading from the front. The opener, who made his international debut way back in 2001, swept Dawlat with swagger and into the stands. He has been a fine servant for the African nation and was rightly given the guard of honour by his teammates when he walked out to bat.

Taylor, meanwhile, lofted Mujeeb for a six. Impressive start for Zimbabwe. Unfortunately for Zimbabwe, in an attempt to keep the momentum going, Taylor was dismissed by Mujeeb.

Zimbabwe roar back

Excellent comeback from Zimbabwe as Afghanistan have been restricted to 155 for 8. At 83 for no loss, the Asian looked set to reach 190-200. However, they lost a string of wickets to lose the plot. Mpofu was the wrecker-in-chief with four wickets. The tall man used the short ball to good effect. On the other hand, Gurbaz composed his maiden T20I fifty.

Collapse

Zimbabwe are making a fine comeback. Gurbaz yet again looked to play through the midwicket region with a slog sweep but could only hear the death rattle. Williams with the key scalp.

Mpofu then got big on Nabi and forced him to eke out a top edge on the pull to fine leg. Now that is a prized scalp as Nabi has been the man in form. Najibullah also attempted a wild slog off Mutombodzi's googly only to be dismissed. Some careless batting from Afghanistan.

They were 116 for 2 and now 124 for 5.

Maiden fifty

Gurbaz compiled his maiden T20I fifty with a single off Mpofu. On the other hand, Shafiqullah smacked a couple of sumptuous strokes via extra cover. Afghanistan have maintained the momentum despite losing Zazai.

However, Shafiqullah couldn't last long, losing his wicket to Mpofu. The number three batter challenged the LBW decision with a review but to no avail.

And a wicket

Finally a wicket! Zazai tried to slog one too many and was dismissed via the googly from Mutombodzi; caught at short third man. However, the duo of Zazai and Gurbaz has done enough damage with a stand of 83.

Raining sixes

Zimbabwe continue to bowl short and they have been duly punished. Burl, the leg-spinner, bowled a few drag-downs and was tonked for sixes by Gurbaz. Zimbabwe not learning from mistakes. To make matters worse, Chakabva dropped Gurbaz at midwicket.

Zimbabwe under pressure

Zazai in his typical fashion tonked Jarvis over deep square-leg and cut Mpofu into the fence, while Gurbaz swept Williams's left-arm spin into the stands. Afghanistan off to to a very good start. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe seem to have pressed the panic button, with bowlers bowling both sides of the wicket.

Captains speak

Masakadza: Bitter sweet that we can't make the final. Obviously my last game and it would have been nice if we could have done it. Boys are raring to go. We need to build on a few things going forward. We've never beaten Afghanistan in a T20 game, so that's one thing to correct.

Rashid: Looks a good wicket to bat on. Generally nice to bat here in Chittagong, so we want to put runs on the board. Doesn't matter in this game (on making the final) as we need to continue playing positive cricket. Cannot afford to relax. It feels good to play on my birthday, last year we played Bangladesh on my birthday and I won the Man of the Match. Looking forward to this game. We have a few changes.

Toss and teams

Afghanistan have won the toss and elected to bat. The Asian side usually tend to bat first and let their spinners come into play in the second innings.

Afghanistan (Playing XI): Rahmanullah Gurbaz(w), Hazratullah Zazai, Shafiqullah Shafiq, Asghar Afghan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Fazal Niazai, Rashid Khan(c), Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Dawlat Zadran

Zimbabwe (Playing XI): Brendan Taylor(w), Hamilton Masakadza(c), Regis Chakabva, Sean Williams, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Ryan Burl, Richmond Mutumbami, Neville Madziva, Kyle Jarvis, Ainsley Ndlovu, Chris Mpofu

Build Up:

Zimbabwe have played three, lost three. Afghanistan have played two and won both of the games. The fortunes of the two sides couldn't have been more contrasting in the ongoing T20I tri-series in Bangladesh.

Despite Mutumbami's resolute fifty, Zimbabwe slipped to a 39-run loss versus Bangladesh in Chattogram and with it, their chances of qualifying for the final evaporated. On the other hand, Nabi has been in superb form for Afghanistan, capsulised by his brilliant unbeaten 84 versus Bangladesh. Rashid Khan, the birthday boy, Mujeeb and Co. have bowled with penetration.

Can Zimbabwe win their first game of the tournament? We will have all the action in a while.

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