Published: Fri, July 05, 2019
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Windies finish on a winning note

Windies finish on a winning note

West Indies won the toss and chose to bat against Afghanistan on Thursday in the final World Cup match for both sides, neither of whom have qualified for the semi-finals. Two more wickets were lost in the next 13 balls as Afghanistan slipped from 189-2 to 201-5. Defeat today would have been intolerable - no wonder they were celebrating so effusively at the end after a string of spectacular catches meant they finished a tournament packed with many lows on a rare high.

Gayle - making his record-tying 295th ODI appearance for the Windies - had bowling figures of 1-28 off his six overs to make up for his batting failure.

Gayle's dismissal means the 39-year-old is 10 runs short of Brian Lara's all-time West Indian record of 10,348 one-day worldwide runs, though he has indicated he is not yet hanging up his boots.

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas. The Pakistan match that went down to the wire was a treat, albeit slightly marred by crowd disturbances, and showed Afghanistan had the ability to rattle one of world cricket's biggest forces.

Still, 288 was the country's highest ODI score batting second.

And Afghanistan's skipper hoped the team would be able to learn from the experience of a World Cup campaign in which they failed to collect a point.

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 a year ago. It only claimed one win in six games in its World Cup debut in 2015, and that was against Scotland.

Afghanistan got the big wicket early as Dawlat Zadran got Chris Gayle caught behind for 7. He finishes the tournament with six wickets in total, at an average of 69.

Opener Evin Lewis celebrated his return to the team with 58 and Nicholas Pooran also made 58, his third 50-plus score of the tournament.

Hope followed 18 runs later having plundered back-to-back off-side boundaries off Nabi, his chances of a hundred undone as he holed out to Rashid at deep midwicket. "Look forward to the next World Cup as well".

"We are going to bat first".

Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah, Ikram Ali Khil, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Dawlat Zadran, Sayed Shirzad.

In 15 World Cup matches across two editions, the Afghans have won once - against Scotland in 2015.

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