West Indies wrap up World Cup campaign with 23-run win over Afghanistan
West Indies started their World Cup campaign with a bang, marked by a comprehensive win over Pakistan and have ended their campaign with a win, but remained winless in the six matches in between.
West Indies 311-6 (50 Overs) [Shai Hope(wk) 77(92), Pooran 58(43); Dawlat Zadran 2/73, Rashid Khan 1/52]
Afghanistan 288-10 (50 Overs) [Ikram Ali Khil(wk) 86(93), Rahmat 62(78); Brathwaite 4/63, Roach 3/37]
Result- West Indies won by 23 runs
There was a time during the chase when Afghanistan were 180 odd for two in the 35th over and you suddenly sat up and realised that this was well within the reach of the Afghans. Then you were reminded of their game against New Zealand when they were 66 for no loss at one point and then bundled out for 172.
Even while keeping the chances of Afghanistan realistic, you felt that the partnership between Rahmat Shah and wicket-keeper Ikram Ali Khil, and then cameos by Najibullah Zadran and Asgar Afghan kept Afghanistan in the chase, despite the fact that they were after no less than a 312-run target.
However, some brilliant batting from Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite towards the end of the West Indian innings was what actually cost Afghanistan the match. The Men in Maroon plundered 111 runs in the last 10 overs and that is where the difference remained.
Earlier, Evin Lewis and Shai Hope notched up half-centuries to set up a good base for West Indies, from where they launched and scored a 311-run total, despite economical bowling from the spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan, each of whom gave away less than six runs per over.
While West Indies end their World Cup campaign on a high, unfortunately, Afghanistan did not succeed in winning even a single match and have now lost 12 consecutive games in World Cups. They got better as the tournament moved forward and are expected to come back stronger four years later.
Afghanistan- Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shinwari, Najibullah Zadran, Ikram Ali Khil, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Sayed Shirzad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
West Indies- Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach
© Cricket World