Afghans ambush woeful WI
GROS ISLET, St Lucia (CMC):
West Indies' embarrassment dropped to new depths on Friday night when they suffered a humiliating 63-run defeat to ICC associate side Afghanistan, in the opening day-night One-Day International of the three-match series.
Already dealing with the shame of their failure to qualify for the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy in England, the two-time former World champions were inflicted with even more disgrace as they collapsed without so much as a whimper to the Asian side at the Darren Sammy National Stadium.
The second game, another day-night affair, will be played today starting at 1:30 p.m. (Jamaica time).
Asked to chase what should have been a straightforward 213 for victory, the Caribbean side were mesmerised by 18-year-old leg-spinner Rashid Khan, whose career-best seven-wicket haul sent them tumbling for 149 all out off 44.4 overs.
WINDIES BEST OFFERING
Shai Hope's workmanlike 35 was the best offering for the Windies while tailender Alzarri Joseph, batting at number nine, made 27, and opener Evin Lewis, 21.
They were the only three to pass 20 as their counterparts failed to come to grips with the visitors' varied attack on a sluggish surface.
Khan finished with seven for 18 - the fourth-best bowling performance in one-day history - to hand the Windies their 12th loss in their last 13 ODIs inside the last 19 months.
For Afghanistan, the victory marked their first over a major Test-playing nation and was their seventh win in their last 11 outings.
Though West Indies started slowly and lost both openers, Kieran Powell (2) and Lewis, cheaply, there was no sign of the shock to come as they progressed to 68 for two in the 23rd over.
Khan's introduction in the 23rd over, however, completely transformed the game. With his very first delivery, he had Jason Mohammed taken at slip off a juggling attempt by Mohammad Nabi for seven, playing back when he should have been forward to a good length ball.
Roston Chase's dream debut never materialised as he departed to the next delivery without scoring, pinned against his stumps on the back foot by a googly he never picked.
More carnage followed in Khan's next over. Hope had spent 63 balls at the crease and struck a four and a six when he, too, played back and edged a leg-break to slip where Nabi pulled off a brilliant diving catch to his left.
Earlier, opener Javed Ahmadi's 81 had been the driving force behind Afghanistan's 211 for six off their 50 overs, after they opted to bat first.
The right-hander faced 102 balls and struck eight fours and two sixes, posting 55 for the second wicket with Rahmat Shah (17) and a further 44 for the fourth wicket with Samiullah Shenwari (22).