After beating Zimbabwe in second T20I of the series as well, Afghanistan now edge past Sri Lanka in the ICC T20I Team rankings and are now stationed at 8th spot. In the second T20I, Afghanistan played with similar approach as their veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi led the run-flow with bat and then combined effort by spinners restricted Zimbabwe under the target.
Batting first, riding on Nabi’s 26-ball 45-run knock, Afghanistan posted 158 with the loss of 9 wickets on board at Sharjah. Tendai Chatara was pick of the bowlers from Zimbabwe’s camp as he scalped 3 wickets by conceding 20 runs from his spell of 4 overs. Skipper Graeme Cremer along with Blessing Muzarabani and Kyle Jarvis took 2 wickets each.
Coming to chase, Zimbabwe failed to pull it off despite losing only 5 wickets. Afghanistan spinners kept Zimbabwean batsmen at bay by not letting them score freely. Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Zadran picked two wickets each with their economy rate under 6.
Zimbabwe could score only 141 at the end of 20 overs and Afghanistan won by 17 runs. With this win, Afghanistan have now on 7 T20Is against Zimbabwe with no defeats — 2nd most T20I victories over Zimbabwe after Pakistan (9).
Moreover, the big news is that Afghanistan have move past Sri Lanka in the T20I rankings and take over the 8th spot for the first time. Followed by T20Is, Afghanistan will now play an ODI series of 5 matches against Zimbabwe. Interestingly, Afghanistan have never lost any bilateral ODI series against Zimbabwe. Both the teams have played four bilateral ODI series, three won by Afghanistan and one ended in draw.