Nabi- Rashid lead Afghanistan to clean Sweep

Nabi- Rashid lead Afghanistan to clean Sweep

Afghanistan 189 for 5 (Shahzad 44, Tarakai 40) (Shenwari 39, Mustafa 2-29)
UAE 145 for 8 (Mustafa 58, Anwar 56) (Rashid 3-14, Nabi 3-30)

Afghanistan won by 44 runs
Player of the match – Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
Series – Afghanistan won the 3-match series 3-0.

Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan took three wickets each to bowl Afghanistan to a 44-run win in the third and final Twenty20 International, and complete a 3-0 whitewash over United Arab Emirates on Sunday (December 18).

Making first use of the pitch at the ICC Academy in Dubai, Afghanistan posted 189 for 5 after Mohammad Shahzad and Najeeb Tarakai, the openers, put on a half-century stand and Samiullah Shenwari upped the ante towards the end.

In their chase of 190, UAE suffered due to lack of significant partnerships, with only three of their batsmen reaching double figures. That they could get to 145 for 8 in 20 overs was mainly due to half-centuries from Rohan Mustafa, the captain, and Shaiman Anwar.

Shahzad and Tarakai got Afghanistan off to a blazing start, adding 67 runs inside eight overs before the former was bowled by Imran Haider. Shahzad’s brisk 30-ball 44 comprised seven boundaries and a six.

Tarakai contintued to attack, but the enterprise proved expensive as an attempted slog off Mustafa found Muhammad Usman at deep midwicket. Tarakai’s 25-ball 40 included five fours and a six.

Afghanistan suffered another setback when Mustafa struck again to remove Asghar Stanikzai, the captain, in the same over. But Usman Ghani and Shenwari added 47 for the fourth wicket to stabilise the innings.

When Ghani fell in the 16th over, Afghanistan were 144 for 4, but Shenwari (39 off 22 balls) and Najibullah Zadran (18 not out off 11 balls) took the side to a more than competitive total.

UAE lost Shahzad, the opener, early in their reply, but Mustafa and Anwar put on an 86-run second-wicket stand to lead the charge. Mustafa’s wicket in the tenth over triggered an implosion that UAE failed to recover from.

While Mustafa was guilty of offering a return catch to Nabi, Muhammad Usman was bowled by Rashid in the next over. The dismissals dried up the runs, and none of the UAE batsman stuck around for long after that. Anwar’s wicket in the 18th over ended UAE’s hopes of earning a consolation win.

Nabi, the offspinner who went wicketless in the first two matches, finished with 3 for 30, while Rashid, the legspinner, ended with 3 for 14.

Courtesy: AFP.

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