HARARE – Zimbabwe suffered a setback when they lost the first ODI to Afghanistan by 12 runs after Duckworth/Lewis (D/L) method at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
After winning the toss Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai chose to bat first and the Zimbabwe bowlers restricted the tourists to 215 all out in 49.2 overs.
Zimbabwe’s chase never really got going as opener Solomon Mire, who was returning to the side since the 2015 ICC World Cup, was trapped lbw by Amir Hamza in the fifth over after scoring only two runs leaving the score at 15-1.
Fellow opener PJ Moor (18) was dismissed in the next over when he was caught by Dawlat Zadran off spinner Mohammad Nabi.
Sikandar Raza (12) was then next wicket to fall when he was caught by Nabi off Gulbadin Naib in the 15th over to leave Zimbabwe reeling on 44-3.
Debutant Ryan Burl scored 28 before he was adjudged lbw after he was struck on the pads by a delivery from Rashid Khan.
However, rain forced play to be stopped with Zimbabwe on 99-4 after 27.2 overs.
Craig Ervine (38) and Tarisai Musakanda, who had not scored and faced only one delivery, were on the crease for the home side.
After the rains had subsided and the covers removed, both set of players returned to the field after a long wait with Zimbabwe given a revised target of 207 in 46 overs.
No ball was bowled again as there seemed to be a problem with the outfield forcing the players to return to the pavallion.
After a long conversation between match referee David Jukes and both captains, the match was called off due to bad light with Afghanistan awarded the win via D/L method.
Earlier on, Cremer was the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers when he picked up figures of 3-46 in his 10 overs.
Seamers Tendai Chatara and Chris Mpofu also picked up two wickets apiece as Zimbabwe restricted the visitors to 215 all out with four deliveries to spare in the innings.
Debutant left-arm seamer Richard Ngarava and Raza picked up a wicket a piece.
Captain Stanikzai top scored for the visitors when he reached 50 before he was caught by Musakanda off Raza’s bowling.
Opener Noor Ali Zadran scored 39 before he was trapped lbw by Cremer in the 25th over.
Ramhat Shah (31) and Khan (32) also made meaningful contributions with the bat to help the Asians post a competitive total.
After the match Cremer said: “I thought 230-250 was a par score and we did well to restrict them under 220.
“We didn’t bat well. We knew that rain would play its part; we shouldn’t have been in this situation.
“We should have been cruising with just two wickets down.”
His counterpart Stanikzai, who was named man-of the-match, said: “We first saw the wicket and how the ball was behaving. I just tried my best and played positive cricket.
“It was good bold decision to bowl first; it was good for bowling upfront but we knew it would turn later in the day. That’s why we chose to bat first.”