Shai Hope, Roston Chase guide West Indies to easy win over Afghans
West Indies had lost the warm-up game between the two sides two days ago when they had batted first with the Afghan spinners right on top
Lucknow: A comprehensive performance by West Indies enabled them to draw the first blood in the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan at the Ekana Stadium. The trio of Afghan spinners, skipper Rashid Khan, veteran Mohammed Nabi and young Mujeeb Ur Rahman were expected to spell trouble for the Windies batsmen. But two factors went against them. One, their batsmen could manage only 194 after being asked to bat first. And while bowling, the dew negated their threat and West Indies chased down the target with consummate ease, with seven wickets and 21 balls to spare.
West Indies had lost the warm-up game between the two sides two days ago when they had batted first with the Afghan spinners right on top. Thus, on winning the toss West Indies did not hesitate to bowl first and that proved crucial to the outcome.
Not that it was easy going for West Indies all the way. When Rahmat Shah (61) and Ikram Alikhil (58) were going great guns, putting on 111 for the third wicket, it seemed Afghanistan would be able to post a challenging total. But a freak run out turned the fortune of the match. Alikhil was run out when after completing a run he started to walk towards Shah to congratulate him on completing his half-century, without realising the ball was still not "dead". Wicketkeeper Shai Hope removed the bails gleefully. West Indies worked well on the unexpected stroke of luck to restrict the Afghan total.
West Indies, thereafter, had little problem chasing under the lights even though they lost openers Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer early. Shai Hope (77 not out) and Roston Chase batted with authority and put on 163 for the third wicket. Chase in trying to get to his century was castled by Rahman on 94. But by then the fate of the match was already sealed.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe