Afghanistan and Zimbabwe are facing off each other in the first Test of the series from Tuesday morning, March 2 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan decided to bat first after winning the toss and sent Zimbabwe to bowl.
The Debutant Afghan opener Abdul Malik was bowled in the first over of the first ball by Zimbabwean pacer Blessing Muzarabani. He was dismissed as the third debutant who got out in the first delivery of their debuts of Test. On the other hand, Muzarabani, a 24-year-old 6-feet 8-inch tall, made history by becoming the first Zimbabwean bowler to take a wicket off the first ball of a Test match. The Afghan batsmen were overwhelmed by the aggressive bowling of the Zimbabwe fast bowlers on the light green wickets. As a result, Afghanistan lost 5 wickets in 23 overs and went to the lunch break scoring 85 runs.
After returning from the break, the Afghan batsmen could not stay on the wicket for more than 24 overs. In the first innings, they managed to survive in the crease just for 47 overs in front of the Zimbabwean bowlers’ aggressive bowling. Zimbabwe’s three pacers Muzarabani (4-48, 12 overs), Victor Nyauchi (3-34, 10 overs), and Donald Tiripano (1-24, 12 overs) took eight wickets collectively. In the end, the Zimbabwe bowlers ended the innings with 131 runs, taking all the wickets of Afghanistan. Wicketkeeper-batsman Afsar Zazai (37) was the highest run-scorer in Afghanistan’s innings.
Coming down to bat in the second innings, the Zimbabwe batsmen came under fire from the Afghan bowlers. Zimbabwe lost 4 wickets putting on 38 runs. Later, they returned to the match with a 71-run stand for the fifth wicket of captain Sean Williams and Sikander Raja. Raja was dismissed for 43, but Williams picked up his fourth half-century playing 71 balls. Zimbabwe finished the first day with 133 runs for the loss of 5 wickets. They are leading by 2 runs at the moment. Captain Williams (54*) scored the most runs for the team. Left-arm spinner Amir Hamza had taken the most wickets for Afghanistan (4-61, 17 overs) on the day.
Afghanistan – Abdul Malik, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Munir Ahmad, Asghar Afghan (c), Amir Hamza, Zahir Khan, Abdul Wasi, Yamin Ahmadzai
Zimbabwe – Kevin Kasuza, Sean Williams (c), Tarisai Musakanda, Sikandar Raza, Prince Masvaure, Wesley Madhevere, Ryan Burl, Donald Tiripano, Victor Nyauchi, Regis Chakabva (wk), Blessing Muzarabani
Afghanistan (1st Innings) – 131/10 (47)
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Malik, 0.1 over), 2-8 (Rahmat, 2.2 over), 3-37 (Munir, 9.6 over), 4-52 (Ibrahim, 13.1 over), 5-69 (Shahidi, 15.3 over), 6-91 (Afghan, 26.5 over), 7-109 (Zazai, 33.4 over), 8-122 (Wasi, 43.2 over), 9-123 (Ahmadzai, 44.5 over), 10-131 (Zahir, 46.6 over)
Zimbabwe (1st Innings) – 133/5 (39)
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Kasuza, 0.4 over), 2-22 (Musakanda, 9.2 over), 3-38 (Masvaure, 14.4 over), 4-38 (Madhevere, 14.5 over), 5-109 (Raza, 31.6 over)
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