Afghanistan Vs Zimbabwe Series Review.
Some series are more hyped than others. That is the way of life. Amidst the India Vs England ‘marquee’ series, there was a much better spectacle of cricket in the UAE.
This series had everything—an overseas Test victory for Zimbabwe, first Test double century for Afghanistan by Hasmatullah Shahidi, Sean Williams’ 2 tons, follow-on fightback from Williams-Tiripano, Zimbabwe’s Blessing (Muzarabani), Rashid Khan’s toil of the century, and other heroes in Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Asghar Afghan, Ryan Burl, Ibrahim Zadran, Amir Hamza, and lot more.
Here is my series review—Results, video highlights stats, major moments, T20I World Cup squad predictions, awards, and much more!
Also Read: Ireland Vs Afghanistan Series Review
Results, Scorecards, & Video Highlights – Afghanistan Vs Zimbabwe
- Zimbabwe won by 10 wickets*Sean Williams
- Afghanistan won by 6 wickets*Hashmatullah Shahidi
* Player of Match
|Player of Series||Afghanistan||Zimbabwe|
|Most Runs|| Hashmatullah Shahidi – 215 runs|
(best of 200*, 100s – 1, average 107.50)
|Sean Williams – 264 runs|
(best of 151*, 100s – 2, average 132.00)
|Most Wickets||Rashid Khan – 11 wickets |
(best inn – 7/137, best match – 11/275, 99.2 overs bowled, average 25.00)
|Blessing Muzarabani – 8 wickets |
(best inn – 4/48, best match 6/62, 55.1 overs bowled, average 18.62)
- Afghanistan won by 48 runs*Rahmanullah Gurbaz
- Afghanistan won by 45 runs*Mohammad Nabi
- Afghanistan won by 47 runs*Najibullah Zadran
* Player of Match
|Player of Series||Afghanistan|
|Most Runs||Rahmanullah Gurbaz – 114 runs|
(best of 87, 154.05 SR)
|Ryan Burl – 81 runs |
(best of 40, 122.72 SR)
|Most Wickets||Rashid Khan – 6 wickets|
(best of 3/28, 7.60 economy)
|Blessing Muzarabani – 6 wickets|
(best of 2/38, 10.25 economy)
- Rashid Khan only played one Test match. In that one Test, he bowled more than anyone in the entire series. In fact, it was the most overs bowled in the 21st century in a single test. Digest that. He bowled 36.3 overs in the first innings & 62.5 overs in the follow on, taking 11 wickets overall. The fact that he left the PSL, missed the first Test with an injury, and played the rest of the series with full commitment is just something else. Also, he is only 22. Afghanistan needs to find more bowling partners to save Rashid from burnout.
- Rahmanullah Gurbaz for me was the find of the series. 87 with 7 sixes in his player of the match debut performance. Not a bad start I would say.
- With Gurbaz, Mohamamad Nabi, Asghar Afghan, & Najibullah Zadran all playing crucial roles in the T20I series, Karim Janat flew under the radar. Consistent all-round performances with 26 & 2/14, 53 & 1/27, and 21 & 2/34 got him the player of the series award.
- A word on Hashmatullah Shahidi & Asghar Afghan. First double hundred by an Afghan batsman, 164 for Asghar, and a 307-run brilliant partnership. Afghanistan is improving, slowly but steadily. Good signs for world cricket.
- With Brendon Taylor & Craig Ervine missing out due to illness, captain Sean Williams shouldered the responsibility with 105 in the 2-day Test victory & 151* in a follow-on. He was just a class apart. When Taylor & Ervine return, I am hoping for some progress for this Zimbabwean team (and possibly a 2023 WC qualification?)
- Blessing Muzarabani was among the wickets in both the Test and ODI series. 4/48 & 2/14 in that first Test followed by 2 wickets each in the last Test and the T20Is. Slightly expensive in the T20Is, but will get better with time.
- There was a time after the 2003 World Cup that Zimbabwe’s fast bowling stocks depleted. The bowling unit of Muzarabani, Victor Nyauchi, and Donald Tiripano bundled Afghanistan for 131 & 135 in the UAE. Gives me some hope.
- The 187 run-partnership between Williams & Tiripano for the 8th wicket in the follow-on (highest for Zimbabwe at that spot) was very special. At the 20th anniversary of Dravid-Laxman’s partnership at the Eden Gardens, this would have been the perfect tribute. Unfortunately, Tiripano got out for 95 and Afghanistan chased the score with only a brief stutter. Brilliant Test match regardless.
We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:
|Emerging Player||Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Amir Hamza (6/75), Ibrahim Zadran (31 & 76, 72 & 29)||Blessing Muzarabani|
|Surprise Package||Karim Janat||Ryan Burl|
|Broken Cricket Dream||Abdul Malik, Munir Ahmad, Abdul Wasi (Debutants)||Brendon Taylor, Craig Ervine (miss out during illness)|
Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!
T20I World Cup Watch
We are doing a World T20 Watch from now till the T20I world cup next year. Here is our predicted T20 XI line up and a 16-men squad as of now based on this series. Several ifs and buts at this point, but it will get clearer along the journey.
Since the T20 World Cup is scheduled in India, several spin options are considered.
Afghanistan 2021 World T20 Squad – Prediction
- Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), 2. Usman Ghani, 3. Karim Janat, 4. Najibullah Zadran, 5. Mohammad Nabi, 6. Asghar Afghan*, 7. Rashid Khan, 8. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 9. Amir Hamza/Zahir Khan, 10. Naveen Ul-Haq, 11. Fareed Ahmad
Squad: 12. Qais Ahmed, 13. Gulbadin Naib/Hamid Hassan, 14. Wafadar Momand/Dawlat Zadran, 15. Hazratullah Zazai
Wildcards: Mohammad Shahzad/Afsar Zazai (WK), Samiullah Shenwari, Shapoor Zadran, Karim Sadiq, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Ibrahim Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Azmatullah Omarzai, Waqar Salamkheil
Zimbabwe 2021 World T20 Squad – Prediction
- Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, 2. Brendon Taylor (WK), 3. Sean Williams*, Sikandar Raza, 5. Ryan Burl, 6. Craig Ervine, 7. Regis Chakabva, 8. Wesley Madhevere, 9. Donald Tiripano, 10. Blessing Muzarabani, 11. Richard Ngarava/Victor Nyauchi
Squad: 12. Richmond Mutumbami (WK), 13. Taisai Musakanda, 14. Brandon Mavuta, 15. Kevin Kasuza
Wildcards: Wellington Masakadza, Prince Masvaure, Milton Shumba
Where Do They Go From Here?
Zimbabwe is bound to tour Ireland in August for 3 ODIs (after Ireland tour Netherlands in June for 3 ODIs) . Important ODI Super League points up for grabs.
In the meantime, the Afghanistan trio of Rashid Khan-Mohammad Nabi-Mujeeb Ur Rahman will be headed to Sunrisers Hyderabad camp for the Indian Premier League.
What did you think about the Afghanistan Vs Zimbabwe 2021 series? What are your World T20 line ups? COMMENT BELOW, and let us know what you think!