Zimbabwe were completely outplayed, as Rahmat Shah’s century helped Afghanistan to a dominant ODI win on Friday.
Rahmat Shah made a brilliant century as Afghanistan battered Zimbabwe by 154 runs in Friday’s opening ODI in Sharjah. (AFG v ZIM 1st ODI SCORECARD)
The batsman compiled 114 off just 110 deliveries, while Najibullah Zadran’s unbeaten 81 and a half century from Ihsanullah helped Afghanistan to a healthy 333-5.
And it was a total Zimbabwe never looked liked beating, Afghanistan dismissing their opponents for 179 with 15.2 overs remaining, rising star Rashid Khan (4-26) doing the bulk of the damage, to steal a march in the five-match series.
Mohammad Shahzad (36) and Insanullah (54) put on 90 for the opening wicket, before Graeme Cremer dismissed both men in the 16th over.
From there, Rahmat stole the show, smashing eight fours and four sixes, while Zadran also impressed in their sixth-wicket stand, with five fours and as many maximums from just 51 deliveries.
It always looked a tall order for Zimbabwe, and Solomon Mire (34) and Craig Ervine (33) both failed to build on starts, before Rashid took three wickets from 10 deliveries.
His spin sent Ryan Burl (2), Malcolm Waller (0) and Cremer (1) quickly back to the changing rooms, and from there the result was a mere formality with Rashid finishing the job by bowling Brian Vitori for eight.