In their final match of the ICC World Cup 2019, the Windies team have earned a consolatory 23-run victory over Afghanistan at the Headingley, Leeds. West Indies posted a massive first innings total on the back of impressive half-centuries from the troika of Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran and Evin Lewis. In the second innings, the Afghan side did put up a solid fight but the final task was always expect to be extremely tough for them and eventually they crumbled in the pressure of the mighty chase. With this win, Windies have managed to end their campaign on a positive note.
Pooran, Hope and Lewis half-centuries take Windies to 311
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, the Windies team got off to a poor start as their opener Chris Gayle got out in the sixth over with just 21 runs on the scoreboard. The pair of Evin Lewis and Shai Hope then got together to bail their team out of the troublesome situation. The duo stitched an impressive stand of 88 runs for the second wicket before Lewis got out scoring 58 runs off 78 balls.
Hope notched up another excellent half-century and compiled a 65-run partnership along with Shimron Hetmyer. After their dismissals, the duo of Nicholas Pooran and Jason Holder joined hands to take Windies progress further.
Pooran smacked an amazing half-century knock and composed a fabulous stand of 105 runs along with Holder, to help Windies finish with a total of 311 runs on the scoreboard. For Afghanistan, Dawlat Zadran picked up two wickets but gave away too many runs.
Afghanistan end winless campaign with a tough fight
Chasing a massive target of 312 runs, Afghanistan got off to a poor start losing the wicket of their skipper Gulbadin Naib pretty early in just the second over of the innings. The duo comprising of Rahmat Shah and Ikram Ali Khil then combined together to resurrect the Afghanistan innings and stitched a remarkable partnership of 133 runs. Rahmat played an impressive knock of 62 runs off 78 balls before getting out in the 27th over.
Ikram compiled his career-best score of 86 runs off 93 balls that included of eight fours and added 51 runs for the third-wicket stand along with Najibullah Zadran. However, until then the required run-rate had already increased significantly and things were quickly looking to go out of reach for the Afghans. They lost three quick wickets in form of Ikram, Najibullah and Mohammad Nabi, leaving them at 201 for 5.
After these quick wickets, Afghanistan kept on losing wickets at regular intervals before finally getting bowled out for 288 runs in 50 overs. Towards the end, first Asghar Afghan and then Sayed Shirzad did manage to impress the crowd with some amazing hitting. For the Windies, Carlos Brathwaite finished with crucial wickets to his name, while Kemar Roach picked up three scalps.
Windies: 311/6 in 50 overs (Shai Hope-77, Evin Lewis-58, Nicholas Pooran-58; Dawlat Zadran 2/73)
Afghanistan: 288/10 in 50 overs (Ikram Ali Khil-86, Rahmat Shah-62; Carlos Brathwaite 4/63, Kemar Roach 3/37)
Result: Windies won the match by 23 runs.