HARARE: Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi steered Afghanistan to a 21-run win over Zimbabwe on Sunday to claim a winning 2-0 lead in their Twenty20 international series in Harare.
The tourists won the toss and made 170-5 off 20 overs on a batting-friendly track while Zimbabwe scored 149-7 in reply.
A third and final T20 match is set for Tuesday with Afghanistan chasing a white-ball tour sweep after winning the one-day international series 3-0.
Zadran put on 70 runs for the fourth wicket with captain Nabi before he was run out off the first ball of the final over.
He carried on where he left off on Saturday, when his unbeaten 44 earned Afghanistan a six-wicket victory in a thrilling run chase.
His 57 on Sunday came off 46 balls and included six fours and one six. It was the seventh half century for the 30-year-old left-hander.
Captain and all-rounder Nabi was quicker and more aggressive than Zadran, averaging two runs a ball in an unbeaten 22-ball knock of 43 that included a four and four sixes.
Opener Hazratullah Zazai scored 28, laced with three fours and two sixes, before he became the first of three victims of wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva.
Right-arm fast medium pacer Tendai Chatara was the most successful Zimbabwe bowler, capturing the wickets of Zazai and fellow opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz (1).
In reply, opener Innocent Kaia excelled, batting from the start of the innings to the second last ball before being run out on 54. His virtual run-a-ball stand included two fours and a six.
He was involved in profitable partnerships with Tadiwanashe Marumani (30) and Sikandar Raza (41) that offered a glimmer of hope that Zimbabwe could win and level the series.
But they were always trailing on run rate and when Raza was clean bowled by Rashid Khan with 14 balls remaining and Zimbabwe on 136-4, a collapse ensued.
Rashid was his team’s most successful bowler, taking 2-32 in four overs.

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