ZIMBABWE A’s first four-day cricket match against Afghanistan A ended in a draw yesterday, with the Asians left the happier of the two after putting in an impressive all-round display that belied their Associate status at the Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground outside the India capital New Delhi.
The day started with the pair of Regis Chakabva and Tinotenda Mutombodzi adding only 25 runs to Zimbabwe A’s overnight total of 278 for three wickets before the duo perished to two consecutive deliveries from Mohammad Nasim Baras and Afghanistan were 124 for two in 39 overs.
That Mutombodzi and Chakabva went back to the pavilion earlier than expected signalled the onset of a wipe-out that was to see the next four wickets perishing for a combined 15 runs — Godwill Mahiyo failing to get off the mark while Donald Tiripano, Natsai M’shangwe and John Nyumbu each contributed five runs.
Victor Nyauchi, however, provided for a tail-end flourish with his 23 helping to take the total to 387 runs, 97 behind Afghanistan A’s first innings tally.
Brian Chari, who retired hurt on 105 on the third day, return to add 44 more runs and finish unbeaten on 149.
Abdullah Adil and Nasim Baras inspired Zimbabwe A’s collapse, with both returning impressive figures of four wickets for 49 runs and four wickets for 60 runs respectively.
Just after lunch, Afghanistan A got their second innings underway with a dominant batting display that saw the opening pair of Javed Ahmadi and Imran Janat sharing a 99-run stand for the first wicket.
Ahmadi was caught and bowled by Mutombodzi on 56, while Janat and Shabir Noori went on to see out the final day action unbeaten on 74 and 12 respectively.
Afghanistan A faced little trouble negotiating the 37 overs they faced for their second innings total of 171 for one wicket before the match was declared drawn.
The two sides meet again at the same venue in the second four-day match starting on Sunday.
Afghanistan A: 484 and 171 for 1 in 37 overs (Imran Janat 74*, Javed Ahmadi 58; Tinotenda Mutombodzi 1/37)
Zimbabwe A: 387 in 91.5 overs (Brian Chari 149*, Tinotenda Mutombodzi 56, Regis Chakabva 49; Abdullah Adil 4/49, Mohammad Nasim Baras 4/60) — zimbabwe cricket.