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Match delicately poised as Zimbabwe XI takes late wickets

ICC Media Release
Mon, Aug 17, 2009 9:05 PM

Match delicately poised as Zimbabwe XI takes late wickets
It's never dull when Afghanistan is batting. A fascinating second day's play in Mutare initially saw the Afghanistan top order dominate the bowling but a Zimbabwe XI comeback late in the day means the game is beautifully poised at the half-way mark.

A wonderful century from Noor Ali and 79 from Mohammad Shahzad retained the initiative for the visitor but the Afghanistan middle order failed to capitalise and Zimbabwe XI's bowlers made telling inroads. At the close, Afghanistan had moved on to 358-7, which represents a lead of eight runs going into day three.

This is Afghanistan's debut in the ICC Intercontinental Cup but the way the players set about replying to Zimbabwe XI's first-innings score of 350 it looked to the manner born as they played sensibly and patiently, belying the fact that most of the cricket they play is of the limited-overs variety.

Noor (130, including 22 fours and two sixes) and Ahmad Shah (40) put on 149 for the first wicket and Afghanistan reached tea completely in control at 273-2. But wickets late in the day has kept Zimbabwe very much in contention and a lot will depend on how the teams fare in the first hour of the morning session tomorrow.

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