Raza stars as Zimbabwe score 159-8 in T20 against Afghanistan

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Middle-order batsman Sikandar Raza top scored with 45 as Zimbabwe posted 159-8 against Afghanistan on Saturday in the first of three Twenty20 internationals at Harare Sports Club.

Opener Wessley Madhevere (32) and Regis Chakabva (29) were the other Zimbabweans to make significant contributions while six of their teammates failed to reach 10.

Debutant Najit Masood, a right-arm medium pacer, was the most impressive Afghan bowler on a batting-friendly track, taking three wickets, including those of Raza and Chakabva.

Pakistan-born Raza, whose T20 batting average is a modest 13.4, was out to a brilliant catch at third man by Hazratullah Zazai having faced 31 deliveries and struck three fours and two sixes.

A googly from Rashid Khan spelt the end of Madhevere while a leading edge from Chakabva led to him being caught at mid-off by captain Mohammad Nabi.

The first of three T20 internationals follows a one-day international (ODI) series in Harare won 3-0 by Afghanistan.

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