West Indies win last match in vain

West Indies win last match in vain
West Indies players celebrate after taking a wicket during their Cricket World Cup match against Afghanistan on Thursday.
Leeds, Jul 4 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/4/2019 12:21:52 PM IST

In a game that had no implications on the World Cup 2019 semi-finals line-up, West Indies defeated Afghanistan by 23 runs at Headingley, Leeds on Thursday to end their World Cup campaign on a high.

Afghanistan were all out for 288 to suffer their 8th defeat of the World Cup 2019.

In a rematch of World Cup qualifier last year, West Indies had set a 312 target for Afghanistan, who had never scored above 300 in an ODI. In the mammoth chase, Afghanistan lost their skipper Gulbadin Naib in the second over. However, Rahmat Shah and Ikram Ali Khil played with composure to a build 133-run stand and bail Afghanistan out of a pressure situation.

Rahmat Shah brought up his maiden World Cup fifty off 57 balls, while Ikram Ali became the youngest to get an above 80 score in the history of World Cup to keep Afghanistan’s track on chase .

It was Carlos Brathwaite, who gave West Indies a crucial breakthrough and broke the well-looking partnership. Rahmat Shah (62) got a leading edge to hand an easy catch to Chris Gayle at short cover.

The game took a turn when West Indies claimed three wickets in 14 balls to create worries for Afghanistan. With his occasional offspin, Chris Gayle took the key wicket of Ikram Ali Khil, trapping him lbw for 86. Najibullah Zadran (31) was run out two balls later and Mohammad Nabi (2) then holed out in the deep off Kemar Roach.

Roach then picked his third wicket after dismissing Samiullah Shinwari for 6. As Afghanistan kept losing wickets, Asghar Afghan spent some time at the crease to keep Afghanistan alive in the chase but Jason Holder took a brilliant catch at the boundary rope to get rid of him for 40 off Carlos Brathwaite. Brathwaite then also sent back Rashid Khan (9) and Dawlat Zadran (1) to get four wickets.

Earlier, Nicholas Pooran and skipper Jason Holder provided the final flourish with a century plus stand as West Indies scored a respectable 311.

Pooran (58) and Holder (45) added 105 runs in 71 balls to take the total past 300-run mark.

This was after Shai Hope (77) and Evin Lewis (58) set the platform with an 88-run second wicket partnership.

For Afghanistan, seamer Dawlat Zadran was the most successful bowler. He ended with figures of 2 for 73. Afghan spinners, Mujeeb ur Rahman (0/52), Mohammed Nabi (1/56) and Rashid Khan (1/52) were once again steady.

Shimron Hetmyer (39) also got a start but was out after being set. He added 65 runs with Hope for the third wicket.

Hope and Hetmyer were out within 20 runs off each other and West Indies weren’t exactly comfortable at 192 for 4 in the 38th over.

But it was Pooran and Holder, who attacked the bowling during the last 10 overs.

Brief scores 

West Indies: 311/6 (Shai Hope 77, Nicholas Pooran 58, Evin Lewis 58; Dawlat Zadran 2/73)

Afghanistan: 288 all out (Ikram Ali Khil 86, Rahmat Shah 62; Kemar Roach 3/37, Carlos Brathwaite 4/63)


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