Mujeeb Zadran    AFP
Mujeeb Zadran AFP

Afghanistan presented the best of themselves in the ongoing ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018 in the inaugural clash of Super Sixes’ round. Having managed to crawl to the second round, they faced the in-form West Indies. Afghanistan’s spin trio Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Zadran and Rashid Khan shared six wickets to restrict West Indies below 200. In reply, though Afghanistan struggled on the cusp of a win but went past the opposition by 3 wickets and 14 balls to spare.

Electing to bat first, West Indies lost Chris Gayle early. Afghan spinners proved too much to handle for the Windies batsmen. They were never given a freeway, and lost the plot from thereon. At 53 for 3, Nabi got his 100th ODI scalp, and became the first Afghan to the feat. West Indies sunk further. Their only ray of hope came in form of skipper Jason Holder (26-ball 28). Nonetheless, once he was removed by Zadran, no one stood from the other end. Shai Hope consumed 55 deliveries without scoring a run. Even though their No. 9 and 10 chipped in, it wasn’t enough to surpass the total beyond 200.

In reply, Afghanistan were 17 for 2. Mohammad Shahzad and Javed Ahmadi returned back soon, but the middle order held on to their nerves. Rahmat Shah (68) kept the scoreboard ticking courtesy brief stands with Samiullah Shenwari and Nabi. There were some soft dismissals towards the end of proceedings Afghanistan would want to address this at the earliest but they crossed the finish line through Rashid Khan’s unbeaten 13.

From West Indies’ perspective, Holder fought till the end to attain three scalps, and was supported by Keemo Paul.

Brief scores

West Indies 197 for 9 in 50 overs (Evin Lewis 27, Marlon Samuels 36, Shai Hope 43; Mujeeb Zadran 3 for 33, Mohammad Nabi 2 for 43) lost to Afghanistan 198 for 7 in 47.4 overs (Rahmat Shah 68, Mohammad Nabi 31, Najibullah Zadran 19, Rashid Khan 13*; Jason Holder 3 for 39, Keemo Paul 2 for 29) by 3 wickets

Man of the Match: Mujeeb Zadran

Full Scorecard