Hamilton Masakadza played brilliantly scoring 83 © Getty Images (File Photo)
Hamilton Masakadza played brilliantly scoring 83 © Getty Images (File Photo)

The Sharjah ground on Saturday saw a brilliant partnership between Graeme Cremer and Hamilton Masakadza that helped Zimbabwe come back from a terrible condition and post 175 runs against Afghanistan in the first innings of the third One-Day International of the series. Winning the toss, Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura opted for batting but the start they made didn’t quite support the decision as they lost 2 early wickets. Both the openers Peter Moor and Chamu Chibhabha departed without scoring a solitary run within 2 overs and it wasn’t until Richmond Mutumbami came into field that Zimbabwe looked competing in front of the brilliant Afghan bowling. Mutumbami displayed some commendable defensive batting but fall prey to a Mohammad Nabi delivery. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe, Live Score, 3rd ODI match

Hamilton Masakadza looked very weak in the beginning of his innings with lack of footwork. Surviving many good deliveries, Hamilton remained there at the crease while Zimbabwe went on losing wickets at the other end. He found the right support he was seeking from Graeme Cremer. Cremer, coming in at No 9, built up a historic partnership with Hamilton. The partnership added 104 runs off 136 balls, which is the fifth highest for eighth wicket partnerships in ODI. Both the batsmen together turned the match around. From a miserable 49 for 7, Zimbabwe completed their batting as they posted 175 all out after playing 48.3 overs. LIVE CRICKET UPDATES: Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe 2015-16, 3rd ODI at Sharjah

Though it was a Hamilton Masakadza show in the first innings, Afghanistan displayed some terrific bowling. Dawlat Zadran kept on producing chances with his swingers taking 2 wickets for 25 runs while their most successful ODI bowler Mirwais Ashraf took 3 wickets for 20 runs. Amir Hamza produced some sharp spins that got him 2 wickets.

Brief scores:

Zimbabwe 175 ( Hamilton Masakadza 83, Graeme Cremer 58; Mirwais Ashraf 3 for 20) against Afghanistan

FULL SCORECARD

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)