WEST INDIES WIN BY 23 RUNS
Shirzad played a wonderful little cameo and clubbed Thomas for a four and a six. He tried going for another big heave but Allen pulls off a blinder. What an effort. It was the last ball of the match and he could have let it go. He sprinted, made a big leap, and plucked it out with one hand. West Indies end their tournament on a high.
After 48 overs, Afghanistan 275/8 – Shirzad 13, Mujeeb 6
They are going down with a fight, the Afghans. Shirzad hits a big six, latching onto a slow delivery and dispatching it over the ropes. Mujeeb has also hit a boundary.
After 46.3 overs, Afghanistan 260/9 – Rashid Khan out!
Make that four for Brathwaite. The ball hits the toe end of Rashid’s bat and Holder’s huge frame ensures that the ball doesn’t go over the line. This catch was almost identical to the one he took to send Asghar packing. West Indies are closing in.
R Khan c Holder b Brathwaite 9 (16)
After 46 overs, Afghanistan 260/8 – Rashid Khan 9, Shirzad 4
Dropped! This has been shambolic from the West Indies fielders. Pooran here puts down a dolly at cover. Not for the first time, West Indies have embarrassed themselves on the field. Meanwhile, Shirzad is off the mark with a punishing straight drive down the ground.
After 45 overs, Afghanistan 255/8 – Dawlat Zadran out!
Another one goes trying to clear the boundary and Brathwaite now has a third. Cottrell takes the catch with a dive at deep mid-wicket. West Indies are closing in.
Dawlat Zadran c Cottrell b Brathwaite 1(2)
After 44.2 overs, Afghanistan 244/7 – Asghar Afghan out!
Asghar Afghan tries to slog one down the ground but there is no pace on the ball. Holder plucks it with his massive palms just a couple of inches before the boundary line. Is that the end of the chase for Afghanistan?
Asghar Afghan c Holder b Brathwaite 40(32)
After 44 overs, Afghanistan 244/6 – Afghan 40, Rashid Khan 1
Afghan and Rashid couldn’t do much about it. Roach was at his parsimonious best and it was yet another tidy over from the West Indies pacer. He finishes with fine figures of 10-2-37-3.
After 43 overs, Afghanistan 241/6 – Afghan 37, Rashid Khan 1
Afghan is waging a lone battle and he gets another boundary to keep the fight going. Can we see Rashid Khan play a cameo? Roach is going to bowk his final over.
After 41.4 overs, Afghanistan 227/6 – Samiullah Shinwari out!
Another one goes. Shinwari didn’t get any power or timing behind that one. Hetmyer runs in and makes no mistake with his dive. Roach has his third victim.
S Shinwari c Hetmyer b Roach 6(9)
After 41 overs, Afghanistan 226/5 – Afghan 26, Shinwari 6
The scoreboard is ticking along but Afghanistan need boundaries at the moment. West Indies have managed to keep the fours and sixes in check. Another couple of good overs and the men in maroon should start to breathe a little easy.
After 39 overs, Afghanistan 215/5 – Afghan 21, Shinwari 1
Well, well. There is life in this contest and Asghar plays two scorching shots off Cottrell to get a six and a four. The pick-up in his six was a treat to the eyes. The onus is on the former captain to take the game deep.
After 37.4 overs, Afghanistan 201/5 – Mohammad Nabi out!
Another big wicket and Nabi also goes. Afghanistan are losing their way. The former captain tries to go over deep cover but Allen, the sweeper at the boundary line makes no mistake.
M Nabi c Allen b Roach 2 (6)
After 37 overs, Afghanistan 201/4 – Afghan 8, Nabi 2
Afghanistan need 111 from the last 13 overs. This partnership, one presumes, will play a big role in the Afghans crossing the line. Holder has gone back to his pacers. Mind you, it took 40 overs for West Indies to get to the 200-run mark.
After 35.5 overs, Afghanistan 194/4 – Najibullah Zadran out!
Two deliveries ago, Afghanistan were chasing one of World Cup cricket’s famous wins. Now, they find themselves in trouble. Poor communication from Asghar and Najib and the latter’s vigil comes to an end. Hetmyer’s throw was at the right end and Brathwaite takes off the bails. Najib is frustrated at the sequence of events.
N Zadran Run out 31 (38)
After 35.3 overs, Afghanistan 189/3 – Ikram Ali Khil out!
Ikram Ali Khil is dismissed and it is Chris Gayle who picks up the wicket. It was Gayle’s arm ball that did the trick and Ikram chose the wrong delivery to execute the sweep. Afghanistan also lose their review. What a knock from the teenager, certainly one for the ages.
I Ali Khil lbw b Gayle 86 (93)
After 35 overs, Afghanistan 187/2 – Ikram 85, N Zadran 30
West Indies are motoring through their overs and the run rate is steadily creeping up. They need a cameo from one of their lower-order batsmen. Well, they are in with a fight as long as these two are around.
After 33 overs, Afghanistan 180/2 – Ikram 82, N Zadran 26
Brathwaite’s slower deliveries might work better if he drags his length back a bit. Najib smokes him over the sightscreen for a straight six. The fielding has been consistently poor. Roach and Cottrell allow the batsmen to take two extra runs. Thirteen from the over.
After 31 overs, Afghanistan 164/2 – Ikram 76, N Zadran 16
Afghanistan continue to keep the scoreboard ticking. Najibullah Zadran gets a boundary off a thick edge and Brathwaite gets it through to the boundary. Poor effort from Oshane Thomas at short-third.
After 29 overs, Afghanistan 154/2 – Ikram 73, N Zadran 10
More sloppy work from West Indies and another chance goes begging. The other day, Hope had missed a simple stumping chance of MS Dhoni. Here, he fails to gather the ball and Najibullah survives. Gayle was the bowler.
After 28 overs, Afghanistan 146/2 – Ikram 67, N Zadran 8
Najibullah has wasted no time getting off the blocks and the chase is on track again. Ikram need to continue to put pressure on the bowlers. Gayle and Brathwaite are operating at the moment.
After 26.2 overs, Afghanistan 138/2 – Rahmat Shah out!
That’s the wicket West Indies needed and Chris Gayle is going out in style. The ball hit Shah high on his bat and Gayle got underneath the ball to pluck it. Brathwaite and Gayle celebrate the wicket with half-a-dozen push ups. Superb knock from Shah.
R Shah c Gayle b Brathwaite 62 (78)
After 26 overs, Afghanistan 138/1 – Shah 62, Ikram 67
Chris Gayle has a long chat with the skipper and ends up coming on to have a bowl. The Afghan batsmen milk the off-spinner for six easy singles. Not sure if that was the right move by Jason Holder.
After 25 overs, Afghanistan 132/1 – Shah 59, Ikram 64
Dropped! West Indies lose a big chance. And it’s none other than Sheldon Cottrell who drops the catch. Would you believe it?! He’s been one of the safest fielders in this World Cup. Big reprieve for Rahmat Shah as Cottrell drops a sitter at long-on. Four runs from that Carlos Brathwaite over.
After 21 overs, Afghanistan 109/1 – Shah 50, Ikram 50
Ikram Ali Khil, you beauty. He becomes the fourth youngest batsman to complete a half-century at a World Cup. He gets there with a thumping pull shot to cow corner. Sensational from the youngster and Afghanistan are in with a fighting chance. Ikram and Shah have completed a hundred run stand as well. Millestones galore at Leeds.
After 19 overs, Afghanistan 100/1 – Shah 50, Ikram 41
Rahmat Shah completes his fifty. It’s been a fluent knock. The boundaries continue to come thick and fast for Afghanistan and these are testing times for West Indies. The batsmen are unfazed in the middle and are finding gaps in the field as well. Allen has endured a poor start and Ikram and Shah got boundaries from his over. The partnership is now worth 95.
After 17 overs, Afghanistan 80/1 – Shah 38, Ikram 34
Spin is being brought on in the form of Fabian Allen and Ikram gives a chance as he goes over the top. Oshane Thomas at mid-on could have done better by throwing his hand but it doesn’t go to the fence.
After 15 overs, Afghanistan 70/1 – Shah 32, Ikram 30
Shah’s timing is spot on and Afghanistan are having proper go at it. Ikram is giving Shah good support. West Indies now need to break this partnership right away.
After 13 overs, Afghanistan 65/1 – Shah 30, Ikram 28
Eleven from the over and this is gorgeous batting from Shah. Thomas over-pitches and is driven through the covers in some style. We liked the earlier pick-up shot on the leg side: He had plenty of time on it and was class personified. West Indies should be a tad worried atleast.
After 12 overs, Afghanistan 54/1 – Shah 21, Ikram 26
Thomas is trying to hit the deck hard but Afghanistan are getting singles with minimum fuss. Neither batsmen are getting bogged down at the crease.
After 10 overs, Afghanistan 44/1 – Shah 15, Ikram 22
Ikram is playing a little gem here. He goes over the top and it goes one bounce into the fence towards the long-on region. The two batsmen are off to a lovely start. Can they build on this?
After 8 overs, Afghanistan 34/1 – Shah 15, Ikram 12
Well, well...do we have a chase on our hands? Drifted down leg from Roach and Shah clips it away with ease to the square-leg boundary. The batsmen have now got a good start.
After 7 overs, Afghanistan 29/1 – Shah 11, Ikram 11
Encouraging start for Ikram and Shah. The opener played a stylish cut shot through point to get his first boundary off a lose delivery outside off from Cottrell. Shah follows that up with a good looking on drive to get the ball beyond the reach of mid-on and get his second boundary of the over.
After 5 overs, Afghanistan 16/1 – Shah 2, Ikram 9
Ikram gets a boundary, expertly rolling his wrists over to a delivery that was angled into his leg side by Cottrell. The left-armer loses his length by a touch but is able to create early dot-ball pressure.
After 3 overs, Afghanistan 11/1 – Shah 1, Ikram 5
The early wicket has not deterred Afghanistan’s approach. They continue to play their shots. No short-pitched stuff so far and Cottrell and Roach have been attacking the stumps, which is good to see.
After 1.3 overs, Afghanistan 5/1 – Gulbadin Naib out!
Roach gets the first breakthrough for the Windies. Naib got a boundary in the previous delivery. He goes for yet another long hop and Lewis, the mid-wicket fielder, makes no mistake.
G Naib c Lewis b Roach 5 (6)
After 1 over, Afghanistan 1/0 – Naib 1, Shah 0
Just a single from the over. The Afghanistan skipper gets off the mark with a single from the third ball he faced. Shah sees off the rest of the over. Cottrell was trying to get the batsmen to hang their willow around the off-stump channel.
Cotrrell to start proceedings for the Windies. Naib to take strike.
WEST INDIES FINISH AT 311/6
Carlos Brathwaite finishes with two boundaries and a six, exactly what the doctor ordered for the Windies. The innings ends with another embarrassing effort on the field. Gubadin Naib, at long on, misses a simple catch because the ball was lose in the sunlight. Afghanistan will have to pull off an almighty effort to chase this down. Good outings for Lewis, Hope, Pooran and Holder. The two-time champions got 111 in the last ten overs.
After 49.2 overs, West Indies 297/6 – Pooran, Holder out!
Two wickets in two balls for Afghanistan and quite remarkably, they have removed both danger men in the space of two balls. Pooran, not waiting for his batting partner’s signal, kept running and both batsmen ended up on the same crease. Easy run out. As for Holder, he failed to pick up a slow ball and it’s a simple catch at fine leg.
N Pooran Run out 58 (43)
J Holder c D Zadran b Shirzad 45 (34)
After 49 overs, West Indies 297/4 – Pooran 58, Holder 45
Another huge over! Holder clubs a full-toss into the stands. Pooran plays a tennis ball shot back over the bowler’s head and that’s another maximum. Ikram’s poor work behind the stumps also gifts West Indies five wides. Twenty runs from the over.
After 48 overs, West Indies 277/4 – Pooran 50, Holder 38
Pooran follows up his superb century against Sri Lanka with a fifty here. Holder continues to milk boundaries, this time, against the spinners. He glides Mujeeb down to the third-man fence. Three hundred is imminent.
After 47 overs, West Indies 267/4 – Pooran 46, Holder 33
Pooran continues to use the long handle. His placement with the pull shot was exquisite and gets another boundary....and how does Holder follow that up? By smashing a huge six off Dawlat to cow cover. There was sloppy work at the non-striker’s end while the batsmen were completing a couple as well. Nothing going Afghanistan’s way.
After 45 overs, West Indies 246/4 – Pooran 38, Holder 22
Holder, after a slow start is taking the Afghanistan’s bowlers. We’ve had 43 from the last three overs and the runs are coming thick and fast. Pooran has also cut lose. Rashid Khan’s short-ball ploy worked well in the early part of his spell but these batsmen are in control. Mujeeb also went for runs. Dangerous times for Afghanistan.
After 42 overs, West Indies 212/4 – Pooran 20, Holder 6
Tight from Rashid Khan. Holder was rapped on the pads twice and was decieved by his googly. Afghanistan have fought back well and West Indies need a good final push at the death.
After 41 overs, West Indies 206/4 – Pooran 12, Holder 2
Another drop catch. Naib, this time, got a difficult at mid-off and even his full-length dive wasn’t enough. He saved three runs, though. Pooran punishes Shirzad with a smart pull to get a four.
After 40 overs, West Indies 200/4 – Pooran 12, Holder 2
Another drop catch as Holder survives. That was clubbed hard on the off-side but Rahmat Shah couldn’t collect it in the cover region. West Indies’ continue to ride their luck.
After 37.4 overs, West Indies 192/4 – Shai Hope out!
Hope hits Nabi for two boundaries but goes for one big shot too many and holes out at deep mid-wicket. This time, Rashid Khan makes no mistake. It’s a little hard to figure out why Hope decided to kick into fifth gear all of a sudden.
S Hope c Rashid b Nabi 77 (92)
After 37 overs, West Indies 184/3 – Hope 69, Pooran 6
Pooran wasted no time to get things underway. He pulled a short delivery from Dawlat to the mid-wicket boundary. West Indies need to push for 300 but the spinners do have a lot of overs between them.
After 34.5 overs, West Indies 174/3 – Shimron Hetmyer out!
Hetmyer pulls and his cameo comes to an end. Dawlat Zadran strikes again and it’s a simple catch for substitute Noor Ali Zadran at mid-wicket. Hetmyer was living dangerously.
S Hetmyer c Sub (Noor Ali Zadran) b D Zadran 39 (31)
After 34 overs, West Indies 165/2 – Hope 57, Hetmyer 38
Dropped! Nabi and Shirzad were converging and another chance goes begging. Hetmyer went for another almighty heave and that should have been taking. The left-hander also survived a close leg-before shout in the over too. Frustration for Afghanistan and Rashid.
After 33 overs, West Indies 160/2 – Hope 55, Hetmyer 36
These are not the slog overs, are they? Hetmyer continues to throw his bat at everything and is not allowing the Afghanistan bowlers to settle down against him. He gets a couple of twos from the Shirzad over.
After 32 overs, West Indies 154/2 – Hope 54, Hetmyer 31
Hope is not happy getting stuck against Mujeeb and tries a reverse sweep to break the shackles. Just one run from the 31st over as the young spinner drags it short, allowing the batsman to rock back in the crease and cut it away. Mujeeb has figures of 7-0-20-0; it has been yet another fine outing for him. Can he get something in the wickets column.
After 30 overs, West Indies 147/2 – Hope 50, Hetmyer 29
Hetmyer slog sweeps this time and....it’s another six for him. He is not holding back whatsoever. He survives a shout for a stumping at the end of the over as well. Meanwhile, Hope completes his fifty.
After 29 overs, West Indies 139/2 – Hope 49, Hetmyer 22
More boundaries for Hetmyer, who, this time gets one behind square. The runs are coming thick and fast and the ploy to send the Guyana batsman at No 4 is paying rich dividends.
After 28 overs, West Indies 133/2 – Hope 48, Hetmyer 17
Nope, Hetmyer is not heeding our advice. This time, he takes Nabi on the full and clubs the ball down the ground for a boundary. Then, he threads a quicker delivery through extra cover. Hope, who is nearing his fifty, keeps strike for the 29th over.
After 26 overs, West Indies 117/2 – Hope 42, Hetmyer 7
Six for Hetmyer. The left-hander takes it on the full and thumps it over the long-off boundary for a maximum. He needs to temper his strokemaking here. Another wicket will allow Afghanistan a way back in the contest.
After 24.5 overs, West Indies 109/2 – Evin Lewis out!
There was a close leg before shout that Lewis had survived but Nabi at long-on comes running in and takes a fine catch to send back the opener. Rashid Khan thanks his skies; he has not had the greatest tournament.
After 23 overs, West Indies 97/1 – Lewis 57, Hope 31
As Brendon McCullum put it, a rare boundary for the West Indies as they try to wear down the spinners. Lewis is strong with the sweep shot too.
After 22 overs, West Indies 91/1 – Lewis 52, Hope 30
Mujeeb is back into the attack and has Hope beaten all ends up with a carrom ball. The Windes had to make do with a couple of singles. The partnership is now worth 70.
After 21 overs, West Indies 88/1 – Lewis 51, Hope 28
Lewis completes his fifty. As we mentioned earlier, he looks good for a three-figure score. There is turn and bounce for Nabi but Afghanistan need a wicket right away. Rashid Khan is patrollingh the other end.
After 19 overs, West Indies 82/1 – Lewis 48, Hope 25
Another good over for Afghanistan. This time Mohammad Nabi concedes a single off the first ball of his fourth over and then bowls five dot balls to Evin Lewis. The off-spinner is tossing the ball up nicely.
After 18 overs, West Indies 81/1 – Lewis 48, Hope 24
Rashid Khan comes into the attack and bowls a tight over. The leg-spinner keeps it outside off and concedes just three runs in his first over.
After 17 overs, West Indies 78/1 – Lewis 48, Hope 21
Just five from the last two overs and the umpire calls for drinks. After being clubbed for a six from Hope, Nabi made a fine comeback with a slight adjustment to his length.
After 15 overs, West Indies 73/1 – Lewis 45, Hope 19
Hope steps out and smashes Nabi towards the sightscreen. It also brings up the 50-run stand between Lewis and Hope. Windies are playing with a freedom and purpose that was missing in many of their games.
After 14 overs, West Indies 65/1 – Lewis 44, Hope 12
Big over for the Windies! Six and a four for Lewis, who is on course for a big score here. He plays a beautiful on drive and smashes Gulbadin over the deep mid-wicket fence with a six. The partnership is approaching the 50-run mark.
After 13 overs, West Indies 53/1 – Lewis 32, Hope 12
Tidy start for Nabi, just three from it. This is a crucial phase for West Indies as Rashid Khan should be on soon as well. As for Afghanistan, they can’t let this partnership settle down.
After 12 overs, West Indies 50/1 – Lewis 30, Hope 11
Antoher fumble by Rashid Khan on the field. The leg-spinner will not look back at this World Cup fondly. Shirzad, later in the over, shows how it’s done with a full-length dive to his left. He saved three runs there. Lewis is timing the ball the ball sweetly.
Gulbadian Naib brings himself on.
After 10 overs, West Indies 43/1 – Lewis 25, Hope 9
Maiden over from Dawlat to end the first powerplay. He mixed it up well in the over and Lewis refrained from attacking the pacer. Can Afghanistan kick on build pressure? Still no sign of Nabi or Rashid.
After 9 overs, West Indies 43/1 – Lewis 25, Hope 9
Boom! We have the first six of the match. Lewis swivels and deposits the ball into the stands. Welcome to World Cup cricket, Shirzad. The left-hander is looking in good touch. The left-armer, though, made a good comeback in the over.
After 8 overs, West Indies 35/1 – Lewis 18, Hope 8
DROPPED! Big moment in the game and Rashid Khan at mid-wicket puts down a sitter off Hope. That wasn’t hit hard and being one of the better fielders in the team, Khan had to do better. At the other end, Lewis’ innings gathers momentum with another boundary. Oh dear, how much is this going to cost Afghanistan?
After 7 overs, West Indies 28/1 – Lewis 14, Hope 5
Hope is up and away with a boundary. Tight over from Mujeeb, though, with just three runs coming from the over.
After 5.3 overs, West Indies 21/1 – CHRIS GAYLE OUT!
That’s the end of Gayle’s five-edition World Cup career. He goes for a wild swing off Dawlat and gets a nick. Simple catch from Ikram and he walks off to a standing ovation, which is nice to see. Truly one of the greats of the 21st century. Not the farewell we had hoped for.
C Gayle c Ikram b Dawlat 7 (18)
Ravindra Jadeja hits back at Sanjay Manjrekar. Was he right in doing so? Vinayakk has more.
After 5 overs, West Indies 20/0 – Gayle 7, Lewis 8
Width offered by Mujeeb outside off and Lewis threads the ball through the off-side field for a boundary. He then takes a single and Gayle sees out of the rest of the over.
After 4 overs, West Indies 15/0 – Gayle 7, Lewis 8
Gayle has seen enough. He has taken his front leg out and an agricultrual plot straight down the ground gives him a boundary. The left-hander was happy to see off the rest of the over.
After 3 overs, West Indies 11/0 – Gayle 3, Lewis 8
Shot! Another boundary for Lewis. This time Mujeeb drops it short and the left-hander punches it through covers for four. Good over for the Windies, five runs come from it.
After 2 overs, West Indies 6/0 – Gayle 2, Lewis 4
Four! West Indies get their first boundary of the day and it comes from Evin Lewis’ bat. Dawlat Zadran bowls five good balls but strays in line at the end, the left-handed opener tucks it away from his hips for a four at fine-leg.
After 1 over, West Indies 1/0 – Gayle 1, Lewis 0
Good start by Mujeeb Ur Rahman. The off-spinner bowls five dot balls to start off and concedes just a single off the last ball. Chris Gayle tends to take time to settle in these days.
West Indies Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope(w), Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder(c), Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach
Afghanistan Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib(c), Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shinwari, Najibullah Zadran, Ikram Ali Khil(w), Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Sayed Shirzad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
West Indies have won the toss and opted to bat first. Batting friendly conditions at Edgbaston here.
With both teams out of the semi-final race, Afghanistan will have the psychological advantage when they continue the search for their maiden victory in the World Cup against West Indies, who are looking to restore pride in Leeds on Thursday.
Afghanistan beat a star-studded West Indian side comprising power during the World Cup qualifiers, held in Harare last year.
And now with their fine show against some of the big teams in the World Cup, the war-torn nation will fancy their chances against the West Indies.
For both Afghanistan and West Indies, the tournament has been a case of so near yet so far.
Afghanistan, who have proved time and again they can’t be written off, gave heavyweights India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka a run for their money during the tournament. In contrast, the Men in Maroon started brightly and were in with a good chance of qualifying for the top four .
The Windies suffered a heartbreak for the third time on Monday when they came close to another big scalp against Sri Lanka. They had earlier squandered their chances of beating reigning champions Australia, followed by Carlos Brathwaite falling just short of what could have been a match-winning six against New Zealand.