Mohammad Shahzad scored his fourth ODI ton off 110 deliveries, including six boundaries and seven sixes © IANS (File Photo)
Mohammad Shahzad scored his fourth ODI ton off 110 deliveries, including six boundaries and seven sixes © IANS (File Photo)

Afghanistan opener Mohammad Shahzad struck an impressive ton and scored a match-winning knock of 131 as Afghanistan sailed to a four-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the second of the five-match ODI series at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium on Tuesday. Earlier, Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura won the toss and elected to bat first, as Zimbabwe put up a mere challenging total of 253 for the loss of seven, courtesy of an impressive knock of 73 from Craig Ervine. However, they couldn;t come up with the same performance with the ball as the Afghanistan batsmen out played them and registered another memorable win to go 2-0 up in the series. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe, 2nd ODI at Sharjah

Afghanistan began the chase on a positive note, with the openers in the form of Noor Ali Zadran and Shahzad, getting off to a good start, putting up an 82-run opening stand, before Noor Ali fell for 31 to Sikandar Raza in the 18th over. However, it was followe by another good and even better 87-run stand between Shahzad and Mohammad Nabi, before Nabi was unfortunately run out for 33 in the 32nd over at the score of 169. LIVE CRICKET UPDATES: Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe, 2nd ODI at Sharjah

Following the fall of the second wicket, the partnership started deteriorating for the Afghans as four wickets in short intervals helped Zimbabwe bounce back into the game. It started when Nawroz Mangal fell for eight to Grameme Cremer in the 35th over, followed by the skipper Asghar Stanikzai for a mere single to Eltton Chigumbura, as Chigumbura was quick enough to dismiss the next couple of incliming batsmen in the form of Samiullah Shenwari for four, and Najibullah Zadran for nine, putting Zimbabwe in a strong position for a win, and left fghanistan reeling at 198 for the loss of six.

However, it was just too late for Zimbabwe as Shahzad scored his fourth ODI ton off 110 deliveries, including six boundaries and seven sixes. It was the final pair of Shahzad and Mirwais Ashraf that put up the remaining 56 runs as Afghanistan won the game comfortably by four wickets with 14 balls to spare, and go 2-0n up in the series. It was Shahzad’s highest ODI score as he was adjudged the Man of the Match, and is also the highest individual score for any Afghanistan batsman in ODI cricket, going past Mohammad Nabi.

Brief scores:

Zimbabwe 253 for seven in 50 overs (Peter Moor 50, Craig Ervine 73; Rokhan Barakzai 1 for 45) lost Afghanistan 154 for 6 (Mohammad Shahzad 131, Mohammad Nabi 33; Elton Chigumbura 3 for 32) by 4 wickets.

Full scorecard

(Ayush Gupta is a reporter at CricketCountry. A passionate supporter of Manchester United, he idolises Roger Federer and is also a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) maniac. He can be followed on Twitter @Ayush24x7)