Zimbabwe humbled in low-scoring Sharjah ODI


Afghanistan staged a stunning fightback on Friday to beat Zimbabwe by 49 runs in a low-scoring one-day international in Sharjah.

The first encounter of a five-match series appeared set to go the way of Elton Chigumbura's men when Graeme Cremer's five-wicket haul restricted Afghanistan to a paltry total of 131 all out - despite 63 from opener Noor Ali Zadran.

However, Zimbabwe could only muster a woeful score of 82 in reply as only three batsmen made it to double figures.

Amir Hamza returned 4-17 for Afghanistan, who recorded ODI and T20 series wins in Zimbabwe earlier this year, while Mohammad Nabi (3-15) and Mirwais Ashraf (2-13) also impressed.

Zadran's 82-ball knock, which contained eight fours, was comfortably the most significant of the match and initially put Afghanistan on course for a healthy total.

Cremer (5-20) was chiefly responsible for putting Zimbabwe in apparent control as seven wickets fell for 28 runs to bring the first innings to a close inside 39 overs.

Yet Zimbabwe lost three quick wickets prior to the dinner break, including Chamu Chibhabha for a first-ball duck in the opening over.

Although Chigumbura (28) did his best to hold things together, Afghanistan continued to break through at regular intervals and ultimately secured victory with a degree of comfort.

The luckless Cremer was left stranded on 12 not out as a miserable 18 runs were added for the final six wickets.