Afghanistan beat West Indies by 6 runs in a nerve-wrecking thriller © Getty Images
Afghanistan beat West Indies by 6 runs in a nerve-wrecking thriller © Getty Images

West Indies got a taste of spin-city today, as they trembled against spin at Nagpur playing minnows Afghanistan. Afghanistan created history beating West Indies by 6 runs. West Indies came out to chase a modest total of 124 from 20 overs. No one expected them to lose against an underdog side Afghanistan. They turned the game around picking up early wickets. It came down to 35 in 24 balls. Darren Sammy got out to a stunning throw from Ahmed Shahzad and it all went down south from there. Brathwaite did give a ray of hope hitting two sixes in the penultimate over but got out leaving 10 runs of 3 balls to win the match, thanks to Gulabdin Najib’s sensational catch in the deep. He was adjudged man of the match for his crucial 48 run knock.  Injured Andre Fletcher came in the end but failed to score boundaries against Mohammad Nabi, ultimately losing the match by 6 runs.  LIVE SCORECARD: West Indies vs Afghanistan, ICC World T20 2016, Match 30 at Nagpur

The Caribbeans looked positive with Jonathan Charles hitting two huge sixes over long on for six against Mohammad Nabi. There is no hiding about the fact that West Indies batsmen find it hard to get going on slow pitches.  Afghanistan managed to score a modest total of 123 losing 7 wickets in the process. Amir Hamza bowled a dream spell in T20I, picking up a wicket for just 9 runs in his quota of four overs. Rashid too bowled a magnificent spell getting rid of Bravo and Ramdin in a spell giving only 26 runs. Hamid Hasan was ruled out for bowling 2 no balls (by height), which forced Gulbadin Naib to bowl in the ending stages of the game.

Samuel Badree has taken three wickets as West Indies have restricted Afghanistan to a paltry 123 for 7 in T20 World Cup 2016. West Indies won the toss and elected to bowl first. Afghanistan lost their first wicket in the form of Usman Ghani, who scored just four runs. He misjudged a Badree’s googly and was bowled. After four overs, Afghanistan were 27 for the loss of one wicket. West Indies had used four different bowlers— Andre Russell, Samuel Badree, Carlos Brathwaite and Sulieman Benn. Windies made the fifth bowling change the next over as their skipper Darren Sammy handed the ball to Dwayne Bravo. Five runs came off his first over. He basically dealt with cutters, slower and full deliveries.

The Caribbeans then drew second blood off the final ball of the sixth over. Mohammad Shahzad danced down the track off Badree’s bowling. He attempted a big shot over mid-off but was not able to get the elevation he wanted. Suleiman Benn took an easy catch to dismiss him for 24. Asghar Stanikzai and Gulbadin Naib were at the crease then with Afghanistan batting on 38 for 2. West Indies bowlers used variations to good effect as and when it was required. Their line and length was quite brilliant through a large part of the innings till that time. After 10 overs, Afghanistan could only reach  52, and they had lost three wickets in the endeavour.

The third wicket to fall was of Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai. Owing to restrictive bowling by Sulieman Benn, Stanikzai was not able to open his arms. He perished in an attempt to clear the ropes after being patient for long. When it appeared that it was getting very difficult for Afghanistan batters, they lost their fourth and fifth wicket in the 10th and 11th over respectively. Afghanistan were in shambles at that point with half their side back in the dugout and with only 57 runs on board. Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi tried to steady the ship with their sensible stroke play though the damage was already done and there was precious little they could do.

They took Afghanistan to 78 for 5 after the end of 15 overs. With only 30 balls remaining, it was anticipated that they may find it difficult going past even 110. Andre Russell broke the 34-run partnership as he got Nabi out for nine off the third ball of the 17th over. Shafiqullah Shafiq was the seventh wicket to fall when the scorecard read 103 in 18.1 overs. In the final 11 balls, Afghanistan scored 20 runs and were able to post only 123 for the loss of seven wickets. Najibullah Zadran carried his bat through the innings falling just two short off his half century.

Afghanistan 123 for 7 in 20 overs ( Gulbadin Najib)48*; Samuel Badree 3 for 14) defeated West Indies 117/8 in 20 overs (Dwayne Bravo 28, Hamid Hassan 2 for 19) by 6 runs.