Afghanistan completes T20 sweep as Zimbabwe replaces coach

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Harare:  Afghanistan won the final Twenty20 against Zimbabwe by 35 runs to complete a clean sweep of all six limited-overs games on its tour.

Afghanistan added a 3-0 T20 series win to its 3-0 victory in the one-day internationals.

Teenage left-arm spinner Noor Ahmad delivered the final win for Afghanistan at Harare Sports Club with 4-10 on his international debut. The 17-year-old Ahmad was pivotal as Zimbabwe was restricted to 90-9 in 20 overs chasing Afghanistan’s modest 125-8.

As Zimbabwe slipped to a sixth straight defeat against Afghanistan to follow a T20 series loss against minnow Namibia last month, it was announced that former captain Dave Houghton had replaced Lalchand Rajput as Zimbabwe coach. Rajput was moved to the role of technical director in what Zimbabwe Cricket called a reshuffle” of its coaching team.

The changes were made after an emergency board meeting on Tuesday. The 64-year-old Houghton was Zimbabwe captain when the country played its first test in 1992 and had a previous stint as head coach in the late 1990s.

Rajput, who had a short playing career with India, was initially appointed Zimbabwe’s coach in 2018 and had his contract renewed in 2021. But Zimbabwe continued to slide under his watch with poor performances across all three formats. He was finally removed as Afghanistan secured another comfortable victory.

Captain Mohammad Nabi top-scored for the tourists with 31 and although Afghanistan’s total of 125-8 was below-par, it was still too good for Zimbabwe.

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