Shai Hope, Roston Chase power Windies to ODI win in smog-hit Lucknow
It turned out to be a reality check for Afghanistan who lost the first ODI to West Indies by seven wickets at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Despite losing two quick wickets early in the game, the two-time world champions surpassed the 194-run target with 3.3 overs to spare.
Afghanistan, who have enjoyed a spate of good results in recent times, had run the Caribbean side close in their duel at the World Cup. But on Wednesday, the Caribbean side was too disciplined to allow Afghans any chance.
All-rounder Roston Chase and stylish Shai Hope smashed brilliant half-centuries, with the former hitting a 115-ball 94.
He could have scored a century had he not jumped out of the crease to play a pull shot off Mujeeb Ur Rahman, only to see the bails get rattled as the ball didn’t reach him at the expected pace.
Hope too was brilliant in his shot selection, making life difficult for Afghanistan bowlers, especially their best bet Rashid Khan, who looked off-colour, bowling plenty of short deliveries.
Hope’s unbeaten 77, which came off 133 balls with the help of five hits, was a treat to watch as the right-hander never lost cool and played the ball on its merit along the mat. Hope, along with Chase, added 163 runs for the third-wicket to lay a solid foundation for the team’s fascinating start in the series.
Afghanistan were earlier bowled out for 194 in 45.2 overs.
Brief scores: Afghanistan 194 in 45.2 overs (R Shah 61, I Alikhil 58, J Holder 2/21, R Chase 2/31) lost to West Indies 197/3 in 46.3 overs (R Chase 94, S Hope 77*, M Rahman 2/33)