Raza, Masvaure hit fifties but Zimbabwe fail to avert follow-on

Zimbabwe, Afghanistan players

Afghanistan – 545-4 declared in 160.4 overs (Hashmatullah Shahidi 200*, Asghar Afghan 164, Ibrahim Zadran 72; Ryan Burl 1/69, Sikandar Raza 1/79, Victor Nyauchi 1/102)

Zimbabwe – 287 and 24-0 in 13 overs (following on) (Kevin Kasuza 20*, Prince Masvaure 3*)


Day 3 – Stumps: Zimbabwe trail by 234 runs


Sikandar Raza played fine innings of 85 for Zimbabwe this Friday, but the team failed to avoid the follow-on against Afghanistan in the second Test in Abu Dhabi.


At the end of the third day’s play, Zimbabwe were still 234 runs behind Afghanistan, with all their wickets left in their second innings.


In the morning, Zimbabwe continued their first innings at 50 for no wicket overnight, with Prince Masvaure on 29 and Kevin Kasuza 14.


Left-arm seamer Sayed Shirzad opened the bowling with left-arm spinner Amir Hamza, but he was inaccurate and Kasuza hit him for three fours in an over, catching Masvaure in taking his score to 35.


Soon Afghanistan turned to an all-spin attack, but it took 50 minutes before Rashid Khan came on to bowl with the score 85 for no wicket.


The stand reached 91 before Kasuza lost his concentration, fished at a ball from Khan outside the off stump and was well caught by the wicketkeeper for 41.


Masvaure got his third Test fifty with a risky single, and reached 65, just beating his previous Test highest score of 64.


Then he moved down the pitch to Hamza, but the ball slipped between bat and pad and hit his off stump – he had played a fine inning in taking Zimbabwe to 133 for two wickets.


Sean Williams came in to join Musakanda, who was beginning to look more settled.


Lunch arrived shortly afterward, with Zimbabwe on 145 for two wickets – Musakanda had 23 and Williams eight.


Disaster struck soon after the break, though.


Shirzad came back to bowl a second spell, and he tempted Williams into a pull off a faster short ball, and he lobbed a catch to midwicket, out for eight.


Then the unfortunate Wesley Madhevere was out to his first ball, as he fenced at a delivery outside the off stump from Shirzad and was given out caught at the wicket.


With the score now 145 for four wickets, Raza came in and saved the hat-trick.


For a while all went well for Zimbabwe, but at 186 Musakanda was beaten by a skidding googly from Khan and trapped lbw for 41.


In the next over Hamza struck, by bowling the new batsman Ryan Burl without scoring, with a ball that came in sharply from the rough patch outside the left-hander’s off-stump.


Regis Chakabva soon decided to go on the attack, and he hit Khan for three successive fours, and then survived a close lbw appeal against a googly.


Raza also showed aggression, hitting two successive fours off Hamza, 24 runs coming off two overs.


Zimbabwe went to tea at 241 for six, with Raza on 43 and Chakabva 33, the partnership now being worth 52 runs.


The interval proved fatal to Chakabva, as the first ball he faced afterward, from Khan, he flicked away on the leg side, only for Ibrahim Zadran at short leg to shoot out his right hand and pick up a brilliant catch.


With Donald Tiripano as his new partner, Raza reached 50 off 81 balls, but Tiripano was then given out caught at silly point for three off Hamza; 251 for eight.


Blessing Muzarabani joined Raza, the only recognised batsman left, who did his best to shield him for a while.


They put on 36 for the ninth wicket, but Muzarabani still had not scored when he was run out in a risky attempt for Raza to keep the strike.


Off the next ball Raza, on 85, was caught at long-off off Khan, and Zimbabwe were all out for 287, a deficit of 258 runs on the first innings.


Khan finished with the expensive figures of four wickets for 138 runs, off 36.3 overs.


Hamza bowled 32 overs for 73 runs and three wickets.


Afghanistan decided to enforce the follow-on.


So Masvaure and Kasuza went out to open the innings again, against the bowling of Shirzad and Khan.


They had 13 overs to bat out and, as they did last night, they completed the job for their country, scoring 24 runs without loss.


Masvaure dug in and took no risks, getting just three runs in that time, while Kasuza was more willing to take advantage of any scoring opportunities, and he made 20.



About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende