THIS might be the spookiest cricket series because the 2005 Ashes when Shane Watson was startled by a ghost in Australia’s ‘haunted’ lodge.
And whereas Watson might or might not have been unnerved by the eerie historical past of Australia’s group lodge, Lumley Castle, the spook issue of Afghanistan’s one-day series with Zimbabwe comes from a purely statistical standpoint.
The two groups cut up the opening two matches of the best-of-five contest with an identical victories.
In the opening fixture, Afghanistan gained the toss and elected to bat — piling on 5-333 earlier than wiping the guests for 179 to safe a 154-run victory.
Two days later, nonetheless, issues received bizarre.
This time Zimbabwe gained the toss and elected to bat.
In their 50 overs they matched Afghanistan’s game-one complete — posting 5-333.
Then the hosts had been rolled for 179. Another 154-run win.
If that wasn’t sufficient of a weird coincidence, they stepped issues up a notch for the third encounter on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe once more gained the toss and elected to bat — however this time had been dismissed for the successful margin from the primary two matches, 154 runs.
It’s a run of outcomes as confounding as Rashid Khan’s googly. Speaking of whom, the leg-spin sensation took 5 wickets as Afghanistan cruised to the six-wicket win at Sharjah.
The Afghans now lead the series 2-1 with two matches remaining, because the groups heat up for the 2019 World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe subsequent month.
Zimbabwe collapsed from Three-117 to 154 all out as 19-year-old Khan completed with figures of 5-24.
Rahmat Shah and Nasir Jamal each struck half-centuries in Afghanistan’s reply as they wrapped up victory with 22.Three overs remaining.
Zimbabwe recovered from Three-44 with Sikandar Raza hitting 38 and Craig Ervine 39, however each fell LBW to Khan as , who was purchased by Sunrisers Hyderabad for $1.41 million in final month’s IPL public sale, ran by means of the center order.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 16, once more impressed opening the bowling together with his leg-breaks and claimed the important thing wicket of second-match centurion Brendan Taylor on his method to Three-45.
Big-hitting Afghanistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad — persevering with his return from a medicine ban — fell early, however Shah and Jamal mixed to placed on 69, earlier than Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran completed the job with some lusty blows.
Afghanistan will look to win the series within the fourth ODI at Sharjah on Friday.
On pattern, Afghanistan will likely be bowled for 154.