Zimbabwe 50 for 0 (Masvaure 29*, Kasuza 14*) trail Afghanistan 545 for 4 dec (Shahidi 200*, Afghan 164, Zadran 72, Jamal 55*) by 495 runs
Abu Dhabi: Afghanistan maximised the good batting conditions to put up a formidable total of 545/5d in their first innings, before Zimbabwe scored 50/2 at stumps on day two.
It was a glorious moment for Afghanistan cricket as Hashmatuallah Shahidi scored an unbeaten 200 in 443 balls to become their first batsman to score a double century in Tests.
Afghanistan had resumed day two on 307/3 with Asghar Afghan and Shahidi at the crease. The batsmen were unfazed by the prospect of the new ball swinging in the first hour with some moisture in the air and batted with determination.
Zimbabwe failed to get a breakthrough as the duo compiled 81 runs in the first session. They did have an opportunity early in the day to dismiss Shahidi, who was then batting on 112, but Sean Williams could not hold on to a catch off his own bowling. Their average day in the field continued as Kevin Kasuza also dropped a sitter at point after Afghan skied one up.
As the second session progressed, Zimbabwe found themselves hapless as Shahidi showcased his resilience. He tired out the Zimbabwe bowlers with his solid defence.
Off-spinner Sikander Raza mixed things up as he decided to change sides and bowl around the wicket. The plan worked as he trapped Asghar Afghan in the front for a 257-ball 164. This was the only wicket to fall on day two.
Afghan and Shahidi's 307-run partnership set the record for the highest Test stand for Afghanistan. Afghan also crossed to become his team's highest run-scorer in Tests.
Nasir Jamal joined Shahidi at the crease and reached his maiden Test fifty, sharing another unbeaten century-stand with Shahidi.
Once Shahidi reached the record highest individual score for Afghanistan, skipper Afghan immediately declared their innings on 545/4 with 17 overs still left in the day.
The Zimbabwe openers Prince Masvaure (29*) and Kevin Kasuza (14*) negotiated well in response to Afghanistan’s massive lead. The surface seemed to talk once Rashid Khan came to bowl in the ninth over and got turn and bounce straightway.
However, Zimbabwe hung in to end the day at 50/0.