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Shahzad, bowlers lead Afghanistan to win

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Shahzad, bowlers lead Afghanistan to win

shahzadAfghanistan began their series against Scotland with a comfortable win in the first of two Twenty20 internationals in Sharjah. Mohammad Shahzad hit a fifty to lead Afghanistan to 132 and their bowlers tied Scotland down in the chase.

Afghanistan were in trouble at 5 for 2 after new captain Mohammad Nabi chose to bat. The man he replaced, Nawroz Mangal, departed fourth ball of the game to one of the four debutants for Scotland, Iain Wardlaw, while Karim Sadiq was dismissed by another debutant Neil Carter in the second over.

Afghanistan could have been bogged down just as Scotland were later, but Shahzad made sure that did not happen. He put on 79 with Asghar Stanikzai at over a run a ball. Shahzad hit seven boundaries during his 55 off 46 deliveries while Stanikzai provided valuable support with his 30 off 37. Yet another Scotland debutant, Matt Machan, restricted Afghanistan with a haul of 3 for 23, which included the wicket of Shahzad.

Scotland began their chase poorly, with Calum MacLeod being caught short of his crease by Afghanistan’s lone debutant Hamza Hotak in the first over. Carter fell to Sadiq’s second delivery in the third and Scotland could never get going. Machan’s unbeaten 42 off 38 was the sole innings of note for his side. Kyle Coetzer and Preston Mommsen got slow starts, but that only served to increase the asking-rate, with Scotland falling short by 27 runs when the overs ran out.

Afghanistan 132 for 7 (Shahzad 55, Machan 3-23) beat Scotland 105 for 6 (Machan 42*, Nabi 2-12) by 27 runs (ESPNcricinfo.com)



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