Masakadza signs off in style with match-winning innings for Zimbabwe

By Christopher Devine 21 September 2019
Masakadza signs off in style with match-winning innings for Zimbabwe

Hamilton Masakadza bowed out of international cricket in style on Friday, striking 71 from 42 balls to help Zimbabwe to a Twenty20 victory over Afghanistan in Chattogram.

Zimbabwe's hopes of qualifying for the final of a tri-series also involving Bangladesh had already been wiped out by three successive defeats, but they at least ended the tournament on a high as skipper Masakadza produced a wonderful final innings for his country.

Having walked out to a guard of honour after Afghanistan posted 155-8, the 36-year-old thumped five sixes and four fours in his entertaining knock, underpinning a seven-wicket win completed with three balls unused.

Masakadza ended his international career, which began in 2001, having played in 38 Tests, 209 ODIs and 66 T20s, scoring 9,543 runs for his country in all formats. His tally of 1,662 in T20s is almost double that of any other Zimbabwean.

On his 32nd birthday, Regis Chakabva played second fiddle to his captain in a second-wicket stand of 70 before accelerating to 39 from 32 deliveries, while Sean Williams (21 not out) finished the chase off having been dropped by Mujeeb Ur Rahman immediately after Chakabva fell at the start of the 18th over with just 17 runs needed.

Afghanistan, who will face Bangladesh in the final, started brightly after winning the toss, openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai contributing 61 and 31 respectively.

However, they crucially lost momentum in the second half of their innings as Chris Mpofu finished with 4-30.

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Christopher Devine

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