Najibullah Zadran Brings Afghanistan T20 Victory After Thrilling Run Chase

Najibullah Zadran blasted six goals off the ball in the final to give Afghanistan a six-wicket win over Zimbabwe on Saturday after a thrilling chase in the first of twenty-three international matches.

The dramatic climax seemed unlikely with 10 hits missing as the tourists scored 83 unbeaten after Zimbabwe scored 159-8 out of 20 at Harare Sports Club.

After that, Ryan Pearl wreaked havoc with the ball, catching the slots of Hazratullah Zazai (45), Rehmanullah Gurbaz (33) and Usman Ghani (1) inside six balls.

A leading advantage from Gurbaz led to the catching of wicket-keeper Regis Chakapva. Zazai followed one ball that Sikandar Raza caught after a long time.

Pearl grabbed his third lot of the last ball at the end as another pass from Chakapva finished off a rich two-ball run.

By hitting him in fifth, Zadran stopped the rot but it took some time to regain the lead and the Tourists needed 60 of the last five rounds to win.

The running rate gradually increased and as Blessing Mozarabani stepped up to crown the final, the Afghans needed eight runs, and Zadran wasted no time in getting it.

He hit two on the first charge, then rotated his third six of 25 balls to raise the Afghans to 160-4 and continue a successful run after a 3-0 win in the one-day international series.

Zadran, the 30-year-old left-handed batsman, hit four minutes and three sixes in his undefeated 41-minute stay at the crease.

Earlier, middle-ranked racketeer Raza scored 45 goals for Zimbabwe on a rough, brown grass and easy to strike track.

Openers were Wesley Madevir (32) and Regis Chakapva (29) other Zimbabweans who made major contributions while six of their teammates failed to reach 10.

Newcomer Najit Masoud, a middle-right arm soccer player, was the most impressive Afghan shooter to take three wickets, including Raza and Shkapfa.

Pakistan-born Raza, who has a modest T20 hit of 13.4, had had an impressive 3rd man catch by Hazratullah Zazai after facing 31 births and hitting sixty-three.

The googly of Rashid Khan spelled the end of Madhevere while the superior of Chakabva was captured midway by Captain Muhammad Nabi.

The two remaining T20 internationals will also be in Harare on Sunday and Tuesday.

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