Second ODI: Zimbabwe beat Afghanistan by eight wickets in Bulawayo
Last Updated: 20/07/14 4:22pm
Sikandar Raza and Hamilton Masakadza put on a record-breaking 224 for the first wicket as Zimbabwe stormed to an eight-wicket victory in the second one-day international against Afghanistan at Bulawayo.
Afghanistan teenager Usman Ghani achieved his maiden ODI hundred earlier in the match to lead his side to a safe 256-7, but his efforts were somewhat overshadowed by Raza and Masakadza, as Zimbabwe now enjoy a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.
Raza too celebrated his first century at this level, achieving 141 with seven sixes and 11 fours, while the experienced Masakadza fell just short of reaching three figures as well, with 93 from 113 balls.
The opening stand was a Zimbabwe record for any partnership in ODI cricket, breaking the 202 put on by fourth-wicket pair Stuart Carlisle and Sean Ervine against India in 2004, and their success on Sunday all but decided this clash.
When the pair were finally parted by Sharafuddin Ashraf only 33 more runs were needed, and the hosts had reduced that target to just two when they lost their second wicket.
Raza was the man to go, the 28-year-old just unable to finish the job for Zimbabwe as he skied Samiullah Shenwari to Dawlat Zadran having faced 133 balls.
The new batsman Sean Williams then duly collected the two runs his side needed from the next delivery to complete this one-sided victory with more than six overs to spare.
Earlier, Ghani was undoubtedly the star of his side's innings as Afghanistan set their hosts a target of 257 after being sent into bat.
The 17-year-old opener struck 12 fours and a six in his 143-ball 118 before he was the seventh and final Afghanistan wicket to fall with the score on 222.
After Ghani, the tourists' next-best score came from Gulbadin Naib with 23 not out.