Afghanistan win second Test to earn series draw as Zimbabwe's battling fightback comes in vain
Zimbabwe had threatened to become just fourth team in Test history to win game after following-on but Afghanistan reach target of 108 to win second Test and draw two-match series 1-1; Rashid Khan with 11 wickets in the match for Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi
Last Updated: 14/03/21 12:32pm
Rashid Khan claimed 11 wickets in the match as Afghanistan completed a series-drawing, six-wicket win on day five of the second Test after Zimbabwe had threatened to become the fourth side in Test history to win a game after following-on.
Zimbabwe captain Sean Williams (151no) and No 9 batsman Donald Tiripano (95) put on 187 for the eighth wicket as their side rallied from 142-7 - at which point they trailed by 116 and were staring down the barrel of an innings defeat - to 365 all out, with Rashid taking 7-137 for Afghanistan.
Afghanistan, set 108 to win in Abu Dhabi, lost Javed Ahmadi (4) early in the run chase to get the nerves fluttering, only for Rahmat Shah (58) and Ibrahim Zadran (29) to then add 81 for the second wicket.
Asghar Afghan's men lost three further wickets as 89-2 became 101-4 but Hashmatullah Shahidi - who had become Afghanistan's first Test double centurion when he scored 200 not in the first innings - took the scores level before Nasir Jamal hit the winning single as the series ended tied at 1-1.
Zimbabwe were looking to follow in the footsteps of England, who beat Australia after following on in Sydney in 1894 and at Headingley in 1984, and India, who stunned Australia in Kolkata in 2001 after following-on, but Williams' men's brave fightback ultimately came in vain.
Zimbabwe, who beat Afghanistan inside two days in the first Test at the same venue, have now not won a Test series - save for victory in a one-off Test against Bangladesh in Harare almost a decade ago - since 2004, when they defeated Bangladesh 1-0 in a two-match contest.
Afghanistan's third victory in six Tests was sealed by Rahmat and Zadran but teed up by leg-spinner Rashid, whose seven-wicket haul took him to match figures of 11-275 from 99.2 overs.
The 22-year-old was the man to break the mammoth stand between Williams and Tiripano when he pinned the latter lbw with a googly that kept low shortly before Sunday's lunch break.
Tiripano fell five runs short of a maiden Test ton as Afghanistan picked up their first wicket in almost 71 overs and Rashid completed his second 10-wicket match haul in Test cricket.
Afghanistan's hopes of quickly picking up the final two wickets were quashed with tailender Blessing Muzarabani (17) hitting four fours in one Amir Hamza over as he and skipper Williams added 33 for the ninth wicket and took Zimbabwe's lead into three figures.
Muzarabani was then unfortunate to be given out caught behind off Hamza with the batsman appearing to have hit the ground not the ball, while Rashid then claimed his 11th scalp of the game when he pinned Victor Nyauchi (0) lbw in the following over.
Afghanistan and Zimbabwe will now meet in a three-match T20I series, also in Abu Dhabi, starting on Wednesday.