West Indies seal easy win over Afghanistan
The Afghan batsmen did not fall to the West Indies pace attack, but to spin, especially off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, who had a 10-wicket haul in the match and was named man of the match
Lucknow: After defeating Ireland and Bangladesh in their previous two Test matches, much was expected from Afghanistan in their one-off clash against West Indies. But it turned out to be a tame affair as the "home" team crashed to a nine-wicket defeat on the third morning, as their batsmen showed no gumption for a fight.
The Afghan batsmen did not fall to the West Indies pace attack, but to spin, especially off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, who had a 10-wicket haul in the match and was named man of the match. Posting 187 and 120 is not going to help many teams to win a game and so it proved for Afghanistan. But what was surprising is their batsmen succumbing to spin, with 15 wickets going to the West Indies spinners and the other five taken by captain and pace bowler Jason Holder.
It took West Indies just over an hour on the third morning to wrap up the game. The result was a foregone conclusion at the close of Day Two when the "home" team were just 21 runs ahead with only three wickets in hand. Afghanistan, on Friday morning, could add only 11 more runs after which West Indies took just 6.2 overs to complete the formality for the loss of opener Kraigg Brathwaite.
Much was also expected from Afghan skipper and premium spinner Rashid Khan. But he could not weave magic with the ball and managed three wickets, each costing 38 runs. Probably the pressure of captaincy is telling on him.
"This is just a beginning in Test cricket for us and definitely, we will be struggling. We had the best opportunity in the first innings, to score some runs to put them under pressure. But we did not have enough experience in the middle. We got the starts and partnership but we slowed down. In this cricket, if you let yourself down against opposition like West Indies, they won’t let you get up again," Rashid said after the match.
"That’s what happened to us as well. Good experience for us, but we need to work hard against the big teams. If you don’t score big runs against top teams, it does not matter how much you do, you will struggle. We did not have enough score in the first innings, that led them to play freely and get the lead. Again, we did the same mistakes in the second innings," Rashid reasoned.
There is no doubt about that. Practice makes man perfect and the more you practice in Test cricket, the better it is. If we play them again in Test cricket in a short time, we will know what are the right things to do. That’s what we are hoping for. We need to play the longer format more -- ODI and Tests. The more we play, we will get better. Now, you play one Test a year, that kind of takes the momentum away. It’s tough for us to get more Tests against big teams, but we are trying to get as much as we can.
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