Zimbabwe batter hapless Afghanistan to set up series decider

Zimbabwe forced a series decider after battering Afghanistan by seven wickets in a rain-affected one-day international in Harare on Friday.

The hosts lost the first two of the five-match series but edged home by three runs in a dramatic game three, before skittling Afghanistan for just 111 in the latest contest.

Two rain delays in that innings meant the match was shortened to 42 overs per side and Zimbabwe's chase reduced to 105, a total they breezed to with over 118 balls remaining - opener Solomon Mire top scoring with 46.

Asghar Stanikzai (19) was Aghanistan's highest contributor in an abysmal innings, the captain managing to hit a six and two fours before edging Chris Mpofu behind and drawing a fine catch from wicket-keeper Peter Moor.

Mpofu (3-25) was the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers and quickly combined with Moor again to snaffle Hashmatullah Shahidi (12), while Graeme Cremer (2-12) and Tendai Chatara (2-32) also made valuable contributions.

The rainy skies failed to save Afghanistan, and Mire wasted little time in speeding up Zimbabwe's chase by smashing two sixes and five fours en-route to a 50-ball 46.

The tourists showed brief signs of a fight with three wickets in 12 balls, Mohammad Nabi (2-11) claiming Mire and Craig Ervine (1), but Sean Williams hit  an unbeaten 16 from as many deliveries to steer Zimbabwe to victory and set up a winner-takes-all match in Harare on Sunday.

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