By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: Hashmatullah Shahidi became the maiden double centurion for Afghanistan in international cricket as he struck 200 not out in Afghanistan’s sixth-ever test match.
After Afghanistan were completely outplayed in the first match of the two-match test series against Zimbabwe by 10 wickets and could just about prevent an innings defeat, the team bounced back strongly in the second test match to win by 6 wickets.
The architect of the Afghanistan comeback was middle order batsman Hashmatullah Shahidi who scored a scintillating double century and was rightfully rewarded the Man of the Match award for his efforts.
As opposed to getting rolled over for just 131 in the first innings of the first test match, Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bat first this time, finishing their innings at 545/4 declared after 161 overs.
The highest scorer in their innings was Hashmatullah Shahidi who remained unbeaten on 200 off 443 deliveries. The number four batsman struck 21 fours and one six while batting at a strike rate of 45.15. Skipper Asghar Afghan also scored 164 while opener Ibrahim Zadran chipped in with 72 as Afghanistan helped themselves to a dominant situation to ultimately win the match by 6 wickets.
“We didn’t play well in the first game, it was a disappointing game. But I worked hard and played well here. I wanted to take responsibility as a senior player and I’m pleased that I managed to do that. The double century is a big achievement. I’ll try to do the same in the upcoming games as well,” Hashmatullah Shahidi said after receiving the Man of the Match award.
Shahidi thus became the first ever double centurion for Afghanistan and the highest scorer for the team in international cricket. As a result, Afghanistan became the joint quickest country to have an individual 200 to their name after commencing international cricket. Clifford Roach made 209 for West Indies against England in 1929-30 in the team’s sixth test match as well.