WT20: How Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe to storm into Super 10s
Nabi's 52 and splendid show by bowlers against Zimbabweans ensure World T20 main draw entry
Nagpur: Mohammad Nabi's brisk fifty and a clinical bowling show helped Afghanistan knock Zimbabwe out of the World T20 with an emphatic 59-run win to storm into the Super 10s in Nagpur on Saturday.
Afghanistan's wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad (centre) celebrates a Zimbabwe wicket with Gulbadin Naib (right) and Samiullah Shenwari at Nagpur on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Batting first, Afghanistan rode on a 98-run stand between Nabi (52) and Samiullah Shenwari (43) to post 186 for six, a score which proved to be a winning total after Zimbabwe were shot out for 127 in 19.4 overs.
In-form opener Mohammad Shahzad provided a blazing start to the innings with a 23-ball 40 but his departure saw Afghanistan lose their way to 63 for four.
Medium-pacer Tinashe Panyangara grabbed three wickets to rattle the top-order after left-arm spinner Sean Williams got dangerman Shahzad back in the dugout. Nabi, who registered his highest T20 score, and Shenwari then got together to turn things around in the knockout encounter, with some precise power hitting.
The duo combined the right dose of caution and aggression and took a particular liking to medium-pacer Tendai Chatara and Donald Tiripano, whose economy-rates went for a toss.
"Very happy with my performance, especially in this main match," said Nabi. Zimbabwe, who remain winless against the Asghar Stanikzai-led side in five attempts, were never in the chase after losing their openers early.
Burdened by the increasing run-rate the Zimbabwe batting failed to get going with Sikandar Raza top-scoring with 15. Leg-spinner Rashid Khan turned on the heat with a three-wicket haul. Afghanistan will now meet defending champions Sri Lanka, South Africa, England and West Indies in Group 1 of the Super 10s.