How Afghanistan might line-up for 5th ODI vs Zimbabwe
Afghanistan sealed 10th position in the ODI rankings when they clinched the Sharjah series over Zimbabwe after taking an unassailable 3-1 lead following the crushing defeat of the African outfit on Friday. Opener Mohammad Shahzad and Ihsanullah Janat got the job done when they successfully chased a target of 134 without breaking sweat, though Mujeeb Ur Rahman took the cake with his five-wicket haul.
The 16-year-old usurped Pakistan's Waqar Younis to become the youngest player to clinch a five-for in ODIs.
There's still a tie to go before the World Cup qualifiers however, as the two sides lock horns in the fifth round of the ODI series on Monday. Here's how Afghanistan might line-up.
Following a brief dip in form that saw him accrue just 12 runs in the 2nd and 3rd ODIs combined, Shahzad roared back into form with an unbeaten knock of 75 in the last innings to blow Zimbabwe away. The Afghan wicketkeeper is coming off the back of a doping embargo that saw him almost a year out of the scene, but rolled back the calendars with an emphatic showing in the 4th ODI and is likely to start again despite the series being already in the bag.
In what has been a topsy-turvy journey in ODIs so far since his debut exactly a year ago, Janat is starting to repay the faith that Afghanistan pinned on him. The 20-year-old began the series with a knock of 54 runs which was also his best individual score in the format, before following that up with another half-century last time out as he forged a 135 run unbeaten partnership with Shahzad to sew up a series victory.