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Afghans seal T20 series with 45-run win over Zimbabwe

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Abu Dhabi, March 19 (IANS) Afghanistan defeated Zimbabwe by 45 runs in the second T20 International to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. All-round performance from Mohammad Nabi (40 off 15 balls and 2/20 in three overs) powered the Afghans to the series-clinching win.

Batting first, Afghanistan put up 193/5 in 20 overs. They began well, with Usman Ghani (49) and Karim Janat (53) adding 102 for the second wicket. The two provided the platform. However, at 154/4 at the end of the 17th over, anything close to 200 looked distant for them.

Nabi then powered to 40, hitting four sixes and two fours to take his team to over 190, to take them to a strong position.

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Other than leg-spinner Ryan Burl (1/7 in two overs), none of the bowlers impressed.

In reply, Afghanistan bowled out Zimbabwe for 148 in 17.1 overs.

Nabi, bowling his off-spinners, removed the dangerman Sean Williams in just his first over, the second of the innings to peg Zimbabwe back.

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At 56/5, Zimbabwe looked like they would lose by over 100 runs. However, Burl chipped in with the bat too, making 40 off 29 balls and added 62 runs in seven overs with Richmond Mutumbami (21 off 21) to bring some respectability to Zimbabwe’s score.

However, Nabi broke the partnership, removing Mutumbami. Leg-spinner Rashid Khan then picked three, including Burl, to push Zimbabwe towards a loss.

Afghanistan had won the first T20I by 48 runs. The two-Test series was drawn 1-1.

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Brief scores: Afghanistan 193/5 in 20 overs (K Janat 53, U Ghani 49, M Nabi 40, B Muzarabani 2/44) beat Zimbabwe 148 all out in 17.1 overs (R Burl 40, R Khan 3/30, M Nabi 2/20)

–IANS

kh/vd

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