Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Chase, Hope hand Windies easy win over Afghanistan

LUCKNOW: Roston Chase and Shai Hope struck fine half-centuries as West Indies produced an all-round effort to register a comfortable seven-wicket win over Afghanistan in the first ODI of the three-match series.

That came courtesy a superbly-paced third-wicket stand between the West Indies duo worth 163 runs, during which both raised their respective half-centuries. Afghanistan were first dented by their abysmal batting effort – despite fifties from Ibrahim Ali Khil and Rahmat Shah – and then let down by a bowling effort that was restrictive, but not incisive, which was the order of the day after they posted a paltry 194.

West Indies profited from the early hint of movement that helped them ping Afghanistan on the backfoot early after new captain Kieron Pollard decided to bowl first. Sheldon Cottrell and Jason Holder did a fine job of probing the openers and dismissing them early, bringing together Ikram and Rahmat for a reconstruction.

From 15 for 2, they did a fine job with the recovery, but did not do a thorough job of it a la Chase and Hope. Both Ikram and Rahmat got to their fifties, but a schoolboy error from the former, led to a break in partnership against the run of play. Ikram failed to notify the West Indies players or the umpire that he was getting out of the crease after completing a run to go and congratulate his batting partner for reaching his personal milestone. Shai Hope still had the ball in his hand when Ikram went wandering, and rightfully knocked the bails off.

The wicket gave West Indies a way to carve the Afghanistan line-up open, pushing them from 126 for 2 to 194 all out by the 46th over. Afghanistan pined for one such breakthrough, but it didn’t come until West Indies were just seven runs away from the target.

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