Rakheem Cornwall takes 10 as West Indies crush Afghanistan in just over two days
After spin duo Rahkeem Cornwall and Roston Chase had West Indies on driver’s seat against Afghanistan on Day 2, the Jason Holder-led team took less than a session on the third day to win the one-off Test by nine wickets here on Friday. Resuming on 109/7, Afghanistan second innings on Friday morning could last for 43 balls. It gave West Indies a 31-run lead. With Holder hitting the deck hard, the last three Afghanistan batsmen surrendered meekly.
Off captain Holder’s first ball of the day, his Afghanistan counterpart Rashid Khan fell as he was caught by Shane Dowrich at slips. Holder then uprooted Yamin Ahmadzai’s (1) off-stump with a late in-swinger, and put an end to Afghanistan’s resistance by effecting an edge off Afsar Zazai (7) which was caught brilliantly by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich.
Besides three wickets each by Cornwall and Chase, Holder too finished with same number of scalps as Afghanistan second innings folded at 120.
With flood-lights on due to poor visibility as heavy smog covered the state capital, West Indies took 38 deliveries to finish the job but not without losing the wicket of Kraigg Brathwaite, who edged to wicketkeeper Afsar Zazai off Hamza. Debutant Hamza finished the match with six wickets.
John Campbell struck left-arm spinner Amir Hamza for a boundary at mid-off in seventh over to end the proceeding in style at the Atal Vihari Bajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium here.
“It’s a team effort and everyone played his part nicely,” Holder said after the match. “It’s really an important win as we wanted to finish the year with some good result. Credit to the boys, they stuck together well. Very pleasing to see new guys come in and take the opportunity. Shamarh did that. He scored a fifty in the last innings and followed it with a hundred here. Rahkeem getting seven in the first innings and three in the second, in just his second Test is really amazing.”
He, however, said that wickets here weren’t assisting the new balls bowlers throughout the series. “We didn’t get the new-ball wickets as we wanted, but the spinners delivered. Warrican was also key, with control, so that Cornwall could take wickets.”
Losing captain Rashid accepted team’s failure in the batting department. “We have been struggling in batting in the longer formats. That’s the only area we need to improve. Once we do that, we can trouble good sides.
“Still it’s our early days in Test cricket, only our fourth game, against an experienced West indies. Hope to learn from our mistakes. We want more Tests and the more we play Tests and ODIs, the better it is. Just one Test per year isn’t good enough,” said Rashid, who is expecting a good fortunes of team in the next year’s Asia Cup and T20 World Cup.
BRIEF SCORES: West Indies 277 and 33 for 1 in 6.2 overs (Campbell 19*, Hamza 1/5) beat Afghanistan 187 and 120 (Ahmadi 62, Chase 3/10, Holder 3/20, Cornwall 3/46).