Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe to win landmark ODI series


Afghanistan have clinched a historic one-day international series over Zimbabwe after a 73-run victory in Bulawayo saw them win 3-2.

They are the first non-Test-playing country to win a multi-game bilateral ODI series against a Test side.

Sean Williams was Zimbabwe’s lone hope, hitting a defiant 102 as the hosts, needing 246 to win, made 172.

Afghanistan’s first ODI win over a full member country came against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup in March 2014.

They have now beaten Zimbabwe five times in nine meetings.

Noor Ali Zadran (54) and Mohammad Nabi (53) had given Afghanistan a strong start before a mid-innings collapse meant they posted 245-9 from their 50 overs.

Then after Zimbabwe collapsed to 15-3, Williams – the only home batsman to pass 16 – kept his side in the game, reaching a maiden ODI century from 120 balls.

But he lacked support and was last out as paceman Dawlat Zadran (4-22) and left-arm spinner Amir Hamza (3-41) bowled Afghanistan to victory.

The national team was only formed in 2001 and while they are yet to shock one of the eight leading international sides, a series win over an International Cricket Council full member represents a major landmark.

Unable to play at home in war-torn Afghanistan, they were granted ODI status in 2011. The side have qualified for five major tournaments – the ICC World Twenty20 events in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016, and the 2015 World Cup where they beat Scotland in a thrilling game.