Afghanistan’s Hashmatullah Shahidi celebrates after scoring a double century against Zimbabwe on day 2 of their second Test match in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Courtesy: ICC website
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
A historic double hundred from Hashmatullah Shahidi (200 not out) and captain Asghar Afghan's (164) put Afghanistan comfortably in the driver's seat on Day 2 of their second Test against Zimbabwe at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Thursday.
Zimbabwe ended the day on 50/0 after Afghanistan declared on a mammoth 545/4 after Shahidi became the first from his country to score a Test double century.
Afghan and Shahidi posted a partnership of 307 runs for the fourth wicket. Afghan's 164 was momentarily the highest score by an Afghanistan batsman in Test cricket before Shahidi overtook him.
The Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch continued to hold up for batsmen but Zimbabwe will still need to score 346 to avoid the follow-on and the prospect of facing Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who is likely to get spin from the third day.
Openers Prince Masvaure and Kevin Kasuza, with 29 and 14 respectively, were at the crease when stumps were drawn, after a day dominated by a 307-run fourth wicket stand between Shahidi and Asghar.
Resuming at 307-7, they added 121 more runs before spinner Sikandar Raza trapped the Afghan skipper leg-before in the second session.
The 307-run stand is the highest-scoring partnership for any wicket by Afghanistan batsmen in six Tests so far, beating the second wicket stand of 139 between Ihsanullah Khan and Rahmat Shah against Ireland in Dehradun in 2019.
Asghar batted for 370 minutes, hitting 14 boundaries and two sixes in his maiden century.
Shahidi added another 117 for the fifth wicket with Nasir Jamal who made 55 not out.
In all Shahidi's monumental innings lasted ten minutes short of ten hours, spiced with 21 boundaries and a six.
Ryan Burl (1-69), Raza (1-79) and Victor Nyauchi (1-102) were Zimbabwe's wicket takers.
Zimbabwe lead the two-match series 1-0 after winning the first Test by ten wickets, also in Abu Dhabi.
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