West Indies 311 for 6 (Hope 77, Pooran 58, Lewis 58, Holder 45, Dawlat 2-73) beat Afghanistan 288 (Ikram 86, Rahmat 62, Brathwaite 4-63, Roach 3-37) by 23 runs
The West Indies finally managed to win another match, their second win in their last World Cup group stage match against Afghanistan by 23 runs at Leeds on Thursday.
It was a fitting farewell for the man who likes to call himself ‘Mr. Universe Boss’, Chris Gayle as this will be his last World Cup, although he intends to play international cricket for a bit longer.
The star of the show for the Windes was Shai Hope, who top-scored with 77 while there were useful fifties from opener Evin Lewis and Nicholas Pooran to help Windies pose a 300-plus total.
It also brings to an end Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons’ tenure as their coach; He has seen the team through a lot of great moments and victories, including the final of the World Cup qualifier, where Afghanistan won against West Indies, despite a winless World Cup campaign.
After winning the toss, Windies captain Jason Holder decided to bat first but lost their big-hitting opener Gayle for just seven runs.
From there though, the rus started to flow as Lewis and Hope took the score past 100 before Lewis was dismissed for 58.
Hope then formed another good partnership with Shimron Hetmyer as they took the score to 174 before Hetmyer was gone for a quick 39 off 31 balls.
Mohammad Nabi then struck as Hope departed and it seemed like Afghanistan could produce a fightback, but last game’s centurion Pooran and Holder formed a 100-plus partnership to take the score close to 300 and before they were out in the last over in consecutive balls.
But Carlos Brathwaite came in and did damage in the four remaining deliveries, hitting two fours and a six to take the score to 311/6 after 50 over.
In reply, the Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib was the first to depart early with the score on just five,
From there, Rahmat Shah and Ikram Alikhil formed a brilliant 133-run partnership to come right back into the game as they both reached their fifties, before Rahmat was out for 62.
Najibullah Zadran then came in and formed another solid partnership with Ikram before Gayle got the breakthrough with the score at 189/3.
With the match in the balance, the pressure of the required run rate got the better of the Afghan batsmen as Najibullah Zadran (31) was run out by a good throw from Gayle.
Nabi (2) and Samiullah Shinwari (6) then departed in quick succession as Kemar Roach took both wickets with excellent slower balls and Windies were on top
Asghar Afghan tried to keep his team in the game but he too was soon gone, after scoring a valiant 40 off just 32 balls, and with the score at 244/7, it was almost done and dusted.
Rashid Khan (9), Dawlat Zadran (1) and Sayed Shirzad (25) were the last three batsmen to depart as Afghanistan were all-out for 288 runs.
Although both teams have been eliminated, it keeps Afghanistan without any points from nine games while Windies collect two more to go up to five points, level with South Africa who are a place above at 8th, due to a better net run rate.
Australia, who are at the top of the table with 14 points play South Africa in their last match and a big defeat for the Proteas could relegate them to ninth spot.
Ikram Alikhil becomes the third youngest player in World Cup history to score a half century at 18 years and 278 days.
Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal is the youngest to score a half century in a World Cup at 17 years 362 days. Tamim broke the record previously held by fellow Bangladeshi Mohammad Ashraful when he scored a World Cup fifty aged 18 years and 234 days.
Rashid Khan is the bowler to have conceded the most number of sixes this World Cup so far with 14 scored against his bowling.