Windies win first T20 against Afghans
LUCKNOW, India (CMC):
Opener Evin Lewis struck a trademark aggressive half-century while seamer Kesrick Williams marked his first appearance for the Windies in 16 months with a three-wicket haul, as the Caribbean side swept aside Afghanistan by 30 runs in the opening Twenty20 (T20) International here yesterday.
Sent in at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Stadium, the Windies lacked fluency but still gathered 164 for five off their 20 overs with Lewis lashing 68 off 41 deliveries and captain Kieron Pollard getting an unbeaten 32 off 22 balls at the end.
In reply, the hosts never really threatened and were limited to 134 for nine off their 20 overs, to fall behind in the three-match series.
Najibullah Zadran (27), Asghar Afghan (25) and Fareed Ahmad (24) all got starts but failed to carry on as the Windies bowlers struck at regular intervals to unsettle the innings.
Williams proved exceptional with his variations in finishing with three for 17 from his four overs while Man-of-the-Match Pollard (2-17) and leg-spinning Hayden Walsh (2-34), on his T20 debut for the regional side, supported with two wickets apiece.
Looking to extend their dominance from the One Day International series whitewash, the Windies made a less than stellar start when debutant Brandon King (4) tried to cut one from off-spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman and was bowled off the fourth ball of the innings.
Lewis then took charge, however, pummeling four fours and half-dozen sixes as he dominated an 87-run second wicket stand with fellow left-hander Shimron Hetmyer whose run-a-ball 21 was sedate by his standards and included just one six.
Hetmyer finally perished in the 10th over when he inside-edged a heave unto his pads and was taken by the keeper running around and Lewis, who brought up his fifth T20 half-century in the eighth over with a swept boundary off leg-spinning skipper Rashid Khan, followed in the 12th over when he skied fast bowler Gulbadin Naib (2-24) to long off.
Denesh Ramdin (20) and Sherfane Rutherford (9) fell cheaply as Afghanistan pulled the scoring rate back and it was then left to Pollard with two fours and a six in a 22-ball knock, to get the Windies past the 150-run mark.
The World champions quickly asserted themselves in Afghanistan’s run chase, with fast bowler Jason Holder having Rahmanullah Gurbaz caught at short fine leg for a first-ball ‘duck’ in the second over, and left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell accounting for debutant Ibrahim Zadran (2), skying one to midwicket.
Opener Hazratullah Zazai, who struck 23 from 29 balls, paired with Asghar in a 48-run, third wicket stand to repair the damage as Afghanistan temporarily regained some momentum.
Williams, however, made the breakthrough when he got Zazai to nick a drive at a slower ball to be caught at the wicket and Pollard then claimed Asghar holing to deep midwicket at 69 for four in the 11th over.
Left-hander Najibullah threatened to stage a late rally when he stroked three fours and a six in a 22-ball cameo, as he put on 25 for the fifth wicket with Mohammad Nabi (7).
But once he skied Pollard to wicketkeeper Ramdin in the 14th over, the energy left the Afghan innings.
B King b Mujeeb-ur-Rahman 4
E Lewis c Mohammad Nabi b Gulbadin Naib 68
S Hetmyer c +Rahmanullah Gurbaz b Rashid Khan 21
+D Ramdin b Gulbadin Naib 20
*K Pollard not out 32
S Rutherford b Naveen-ul-Haq 9
F Allen not out 5
Extras (lb4, w1) 5
TOTAL (5 wkts, 20 overs) 164
Did not bat: J Holder, K Williams, S Cottrell, H Walsh.
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (King), 2-91 (Hetmyer), 3-100 (Lewis), 4-120 (Ramdin), 5-140 (Rutherford)
Bowling: Mujeeb-urRahman 4-0-27-1, Mohammad Nabi 3-0-19-0, Fareed Ahmad 1-0-17-0, Rashid Khan 4-0-34-1, Naveen-ul-Haq 4-0-39-1, Gulbadin Naib 4-0-24-2.
Hazratullah Zazai c wkp Ramdin b Williams 23
+Rahmanullah Gurbaz c King b Holder 0
Ibrahim Zadran c Allen b Cottrell 2
Asghar Afghan c sub (K Paul) b Pollard 25
Najibullah Zadran c wkp Ramdin b Pollard 27
Mohammad Nabi c Holder b Walsh 7
Gulbadin Naib c Cottrell b Walsh 1
*Rashid Khan c wkp Ramdin b Williams 1
Fareed Ahmad not out 24
Naveen-ul-Haq c wkp Ramdin b Williams 5
Mujeeb-ur-Rahman not out 8
Extras (lb4, w 6, nb1) 11
TOTAL (9 wkts, 20 overs) 134
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Rahmanullah Gurbaz), 2-7 (Ibrahim Zadran), 3-55 (Hazratullah Zazai), 4-69 (Asghar Afghan), 5-94 (Najibullah Zadran), 6-95 (Mohammad Nabi), 7-97 (Rashid Khan), 8-101 (Gulbadin Naib), 9-111 (Naveen-ul-Haq)
Bowling: Cottrell 2-0-5-1, Holder 4-0-29-1, Williams 4-0-17-3, Pollard 3-0-17-2, Rutherford 3-0-28-0, Walsh 4-0-34-2.
Result: West Indies won by 30 runs.
Series: West Indies lead three-match series 1-0.
Man-of-the-Match: Kieron Pollard.
Umpires: Ahmed Shah Pakteen, Ahmed Shah Durrani; TV – Izatullah Safi.