The Zimbabwe Chevrons recorded a sensational 2 runs victory over Afghanistan in a pulsating Group B match of the ongoing ICC World Cup qualifiers at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
After an impressive performance in their first match against Nepal, a lot was expected from the heath Streak coached outfit.
However, the Chevrons got off to a poor start with their batting, leaving a lot to be desired save for the first match heroes, Brendan Taylor and Sikanda Raza Butt who posted 89 and 60 runs respectively.
Besides contributions by Graeme Cremer with 19 and Craig Ervine’s 13, the rest recorded single digit scores which included four ducks from Cephas Zhuwawo, Tendai Chatara, Brian Vitori and Blessing Muzarabani.
Zimbabwe posted a meagre 196 all out in 43 overs, setting Afghanistan a target of 197 to win the match.
When the visitors took to the crease, they proved a tough nut to crack.
Despite claiming 3 wickets in 15 overs, the Afghans had up until that point collected over 150 runs, in what seemed to be a routine victory in the making.
Muzarabani took matters to his own hands, taking 4 wickets for 47, ably assisted by second consecutive man of the match winner, Raza’s 3 for 40 and Vitori’s 2 for 31.
Zimbabwe backed by a vociferous crowd, the Afghan wickets began to tumble.
The last wicket partnership of Shapoor and Dawlat Zadran proved a stumbling block for the Chevrons until the very last over.
In need of 3 runs to win from 4 balls, Vitori’s effort got a nick from Shapoor and was safely in wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor’s gloves to bring wild scenes of celebrations from the fans.
The victory took Zimbabwe to 4 points with their next assignment being on Saturday against Hong Kong at the Bulawayo Athletics Club.