NAGPUR: Mohammad Nabi’s rapid fifty and a clinical bowling show helped Afghanistan knock Zimbabwe out of the World T20 with an categorical 59 runs win to enter into the Super 10s on Saturday.
Bat first, Afghanistan rode on a 98 run stand between Samiullah Shenwari 43 and Nabi 52 runs to post 186 for six wicket, Zimbabawe were shot out for 127 runs in 19.4 overs.
Opener Mohammad Shahzad provided a blistering start to the innings with 40 off 23 but his removal saw Afghanistan lose their way to 63 for four.
Medium-pacer Tinashe Panyangara grabbed 3 wickets to rattle the top-order after left-arm spinner Sean Williams got danger man Shahzad.
Nabi, who recorded his highest T20 score, and Shenwari then got together to turn things around in the knockout encounter, with some specific power hitting.
The duo combined the right dose of caution and aggression and took a particular liking to medium-pacer Tendai Chatara and Donald Tiripano, whose economy-rates went for a toss.
Nabi said, “Very happy with my performance, especially in this main match and it was a tough game in the qualifying round”.
Zimbabwe, who remain winless against the Asghar Stanikzai led side in five attempts, were never in the chase after losing their openers early.
Loaded by the rising run rate the Zimbabwe batting failed to get going with Sikandar Raza top-scoring with 15.
Leg-spinner Rashid Khan turned on the heat with a three-wicket haul as medium-pacer Hamid Hassan contributed with two wickets.
Afghanistan will now meet defending champions Sri Lanka, South Africa, England and West Indies in Group A of the Super 10s.
Later, Hong Kong meet Scotland in an insignificant Group B tie at the same venue on Saturday.