Afghanistan Aim For Positive Finish Against Dismal West Indies

ICC World Cup 2019,Afghanistan vs Windies,Chris Gayle

File image of Windies cricketer Chris Gayle

The result means Afghanistan finish their World Cup campaign without a win despite posting their highest ODI score batting second while West Indies end a run of six defeats in a row.

The Windies had not tasted victory since their first match of the tournament against Pakistan, back on May 31, ending their long wait for further success with a 23-run triumph.

Afghanistan beat a star studded West Indian side comprising power hitters like Chris Gayle, Carlos Brathwaite and Shai Hope twice in the World Cup qualifiers, held in Harare previous year.

West Indies team is filled with young players but there's someone who is soon going to bid adieu to global cricket, Chris Gayle.

Earlier, West Indies skipper Jason Holder won the toss and elected to bat first. Shai Hope and Evin Lewis then steadied the innings.

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They were by no means outsiders against the Windies, having won three of their four completed previous encounters, including both matches in the qualifying tournament in Harare a year ago.

Highly rated leg-spinner Rashid Khan ended the tournament with just six wickets after taking 1-52 on Thursday.

But what happened in between contained encouraging portents for the West Indies future.

It was an inauspicious start but he gradually grew in confidence alongside Evin Lewis, who was initially more authoritative in reaching 44 from 43 balls, only to add 14 off his next 35 before holing out off Rashid for 58.

Many would have expected some thumping blows from Gayle after the Windies had made a decision to bat first in what could have well been his final global innings in England.

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Allied to comparatively old hands Evin Lewis and captain Jason Holder, who made 58 and 45 respectively, West Indies put up an impressive score to which 22-year-old Shimron Hetmeyer contributed 39. Afghanistan are yet to register a win in this tournament, even after eight matches, whereas West Indies are winless after winning their opening encounter against Pakistan.

Afghanistan give a chance to Sayed Shirzad and Dawlat Zadran in place of Hamid Hassan and Hashmatullah Shahidi. The wickets tend to slow up as the game goes on so hopefully that happens today.

Neither batsman had gone past a half-century in this tournament but the Windies' bowling and fielding lacked penetration, which allowed the Afghanistan pair to rebuild.

"With Rashid, everyone just expects things from him, especially how he played the last two or three years", Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib said.

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