Catch all the live updates from the third ODI between Zimbabwe and Afghanistan in Sharjah on Cricketnext.com
Preview: With the series hanging in the balance at 1-1, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe will look to stick to what has worked for them so far when they meet for the crucial third One-Day International on Tuesday (13 February). After being beaten comprehensively by Afghanistan in the opening ODI of the five-match series by a whopping 154 runs, Zimbabwe bounced back by winning the second game by the exact same margin, making for pleasing symmetry. In the first game, Afghanistan had scored 333/5 and then bowled Zimbabwe out for 179 – the teams swapped ends in the second match, with the margin of result staying the same. Afghanistan shifted gears for the 50-over format after clinching the two-match Twenty20 International series against Zimbabwe, carrying the momentum in the first ODI successfully thanks to Rahmat Shah’s brilliance with the bat, which was backed up by Rashid Khan’s spin attack. However, in the second ODI, Zimbabwe exposed the chink in Afghanistan’s batting – their middle-order – but all of Asghar Stanikzai, Nasir Jamal, Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi hold the key to success against Zimbabwe’s bowlers. Their bowling department, with an array of talented spin bowlers, gives them the edge against Zimbabwe, but the batsmen must hold their own. To their credit, Zimbabwe did their homework after the first ODI, and the experience of Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza helped them turn the tables. Once again, a lot Zimbabwe’s hopes rest on these two batsmen and their ability to produce match-defining knocks. In the bowling department, the combination of Graeme Cremer, the leg-spinner, and Tendai Chatara, the paceman – who ran havoc in the second ODI – could once again prove to be a threat for the Afghan batsmen.