The league stage of the ICC World Cup 2019 is into its final week and the final four teams are almost decided. In the first out-and-out dead rubber encounter, the Windies team have done a fabulous job posting a daunting first innings total of 311 runs in the first half of their last game against Afghanistan at the Headingley, Leeds. The trio of Shai Hope, Evin Lewis and Nicholas Pooran smacked brilliant half-centuries each to ensure that Windies have an imposing score on the board. On the other hand, the Afghan bowlers had pretty tough outing as they failed to pick up wickets at regular intervals.
Gayle gets out early; Lewis and Hope stitch 88-run partnership
Windies skipper Jason Holder won the toss and opted to bat first as he reckoned that it seems to be a pretty good wicket and tends to slow down as the game progresses. However, his team failed to prove his decision correct as big-hitting opening batsman Chris Gayle got out in just the sixth over with 21 runs on the scoreboard. After his dismissal, the duo comprising of Evin Lewis and Shai Hope got together to bail their team out of the troublesome situation. They batted extremely well to tackle the opening spells of the Afghan bowlers carefully and stitched an excellent stand of 88 runs.
Lewis was looking in a solid touch before falling victim to Rashid Khan in the 25th over after scoring 58 runs off 78 balls. Hope then started building the innings once again now with Shimron Hetmyer. The right-hander brought up his half-century in the 30th over and compiled a fine stand of 65 runs along with Hetmyer. His partner on the other end, Hetmyer, once again in this tournament failed to convert his start of 39 runs and got out in the 35th over.
Hope also got dismissed pretty soon after playing an impressive innings of 77 runs off 92 balls that included of six fours and two sixes. After his wicket, the pair of Nicholas Pooran and skipper Jason Holder joined hands to push the Windies progress further in the final few overs. The in-form Pooran smacked another fifty at a steady pace and along with Holder compiled a phenomenal partnership of 105 runs to help the Windies finish with 311 runs in their quota of 50 overs.
Windies skipper Holder also played a vital innings of 45 runs off 34 balls. For Afghanistan, Dawlat Zadran picked up two crucial wickets but gave away too many runs.
Windies 311/5 in 50 overs (Shai Hope-77, Nicholas Pooran-58, Evin Lewis-58; Dawlat Zadran 2/73) vs Afghanistan.