West Indies beat Afghanistan by 30 runs to win their first T20I.
With the West Indies having whitewashed the ODI series between the two sides, Afghanistan supporters were hoping their side could do better in the T20I series which got underway in Lucknow on Thursday, but, on this occasion, were disappointed.
It was the home side who won the toss and opted to field first, enjoying early success with the ball when Brandon King was bowled by Mujeeb Ur Rahman off the fourth delivery. However, Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer then put on 87 for the second wicket off just 55 balls, with Lewis very much the aggressor of the pair. Their stand came to an end when Hetmyer, who had hit one six, was caught behind off the bowling of the Afghan captain Rashid Khan for 21. Two overs later, Lewis was out to a catch by Mohammad Nabi, with Gulbadin Naib the bowler this time. He had made 68, and his innings included 6 sixes and 4 fours.
Denesh Ramdin and the West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard added 20, and then, when Ramdin, who had scored one six of his own, was bowled by Gulbadin for 20, Pollard put on an additional 20 with Sherfane Rutherford. He was bowled by Naveen ul-Haq for 9, but Pollard combined with Fabian Allen to add a further unbeaten 24, as the West Indies closed their innings on 164 – 5. Pollard, with one six to his name was 32 not out at the end, and Allen undefeated on 5.
The Afghanistan reply started badly, with Rahmanullah Gurbaz out for a duck in the second over, caught by King off Jason Holder. Five balls later, Ibrahim Zadran fell to a catch by Allen off the bowling of Sheldon Cottrell. Hazratullah Zazai and Afghan then added 48 for the third wicket, but Zazai became the next dismissal, caught behind for 23 with Kesrick Williams the bowler this time.
Afghan and Najibullah Zadran put on 14, but then Afghan was caught by a substitute fielder off Pollard for 25, having struck one six. Najibullah and Nabi then combined with a stand of 25, but that was ended when Najibullah was caught behind off Pollard for 27, having hit a six and 3 fours.
Two balls later, Nabi was caught by Holder off Hayden Walsh and then, with just one run added, Rashid fell to a catch behind off Williams. By this time, Afghanistan were in disarray, and their eighth wicket was lost when Gulbadin was caught by Cottrell with Walsh the bowler this time. Fareed Ahmed and Naveen ul-Haq was caught behind off Williams, but, at least, the last wicket partnership off Ahmed and Mujeeb were unbeaten, adding 23 at the end.
Ahmed finished on 24 not out, and Mujeeb was unbeaten on 8, but their side was well short of their target in the end.
Williams finished with 3 for 17, whilst Pollard and Walsh each took two wickets.