T20 WC: Pooran's magnificent 98, McCoy's three wickets power West Indies to a dominant 104-run win over Afghanistan

Sports Tuesday 18/June/2024 09:26 AM
T20 WC: Pooran's magnificent 98, McCoy's three wickets power West Indies to a dominant 104-run win over Afghanistan

Gros Islet : Nicholas Pooran's magnificent 98-run knock and Obed McCoy's three-wicket haul powered West Indies to a dominant 104-run victory over Afghanistan in their last match of the Group stage of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024 at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium on Monday (local time).

The West Indies ended the first round on an unbeaten streak. Being table toppers of Group C, the Windies have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the tournament.

Having qualified for the Super Eight stage, the hosts faced Afghanistan, which too was undefeated till then, looking to maintain their momentum. The Windies dispelled any last doubts about their title claims with an eye-catching performance.

Chasing a huge target of 219, Afghanistan knew they needed to start right from the fifth gear if they were to stand any chance against the massive target. However, a dismissal on the third ball made matters worse as Rahmanullah Gurbaz (0 off 3) played a shot straight to Andre Russell.

Gulbadin Naib and opener Ibrahim Zadran then knuckled down and took Afghanistan's total to 45/1 at the end of the Powerplay.

In the 7th over of the game, Gutakesh Motie struck, triggering a consistent fall of wickets leading up to the innings midpoint, with the Afghans at 66/5 at drinks.

Ibrahim was able to play some good shots off Alzarri Joseph, striking the pacer for one four and two sixes in the opening six overs. He also got a few away from Hosein, but couldn't keep a leisurely flick off Obed McCoy to deep backward square leg where Johnson Charles took a good catch.

In his debut T20 World Cup encounter, McCoy dismissed Najibullah Zadran a few balls later before knocking over Mohammad Nabi to reduce Afghanistan to 63 for 5 in the tenth over. Azmatullah Omarzai landed a couple of powerful blows, but Hosein, Gudakesh Motie, and Andre Russell never let Afghanistan get away with the required run rate.

Karim Janat and Azmatullah Omarzai both hammered sixes in the 11th over. In the 13th over, Akeal Hosein broke Afghanistan's momentum as he removed set batter Omarzai for 23.

Afghanistan was all out for 114, suffering their first World Cup defeat. After three comprehensive wins, the team failed in all three departments in the game and will move ahead with some key findings ahead of their Super 8 match.

Earlier, Pooran's brutal assault of 98 runs propelled West Indies to 218/5 against Afghanistan.

West Indies notched up the highest first-innings total in the ongoing marquee event and their highest total in the T20 World Cups.

Put to bat first, the West Indies' start was genuinely jaw-dropping; it had to be seen to be believed. Brandon King's second-over wicket (7 off 6) did little to stem the hosts' momentum, as Johnson Charles and Nicholas Pooran both accelerated into top gear in the blink of an eye.

Charles hit three boundaries in the third over, inspiring Pooran to perform something genuinely extraordinary at the change of ends. The keeper-batter burst, scoring 36 runs off Azmatullah Omarzai's bowling: 6, 5NB, 5WD, 0, 4LB, 4, 6, 6.

It is the fifth time in Men's T20I history that an over has gone for 36 runs, and the second time at a Men's World Cup. The partnership reached 50 after the final six overs by Omarzai.

The punishment continued, as the pair took West Indies' score to 92/1 at the six-over mark. It's the biggest Powerplay total in Men's T20 World Cup history.

Finally, Afghanistan took a sigh of relief, after Naveen-ul-Haq with a slower ball broke the dangerous partnership of 80 runs as he removed Johnson Charles for 43 in the 8th over.

So far, in the tournament, the highest total conceded by Afghanistan was 95 against Papua New Guinea. The Windies cleared it at 6.5 overs.

Another boundary off the bat of Johnson Charles helped the Windies reach 100 in 7.4 overs before being dismissed in the eighth over, having scored 43 off 27 balls. It brought an end to an 80-run stand that lasted only six overs. The hosts reached drinks at 113/2, looking for more batting history in the second part of the innings.

Shai Hope's cameo (25 off 17) helped the run rate stay in double digits, as Pooran raised the bat in the 14th over - his 50 came off just 31 balls and it was his first half-century in a T20 World Cup. Afghanistan got the hosts' run rate back down under 10 before Rovman Powell started finding his range - a six to start the 16th overtook the Windies past the 150 mark.

Pooran rediscovered his flow again in the 17th over, scoring a picture-perfect 24 runs off the 18th, this time off Rashid Khan's bowling. Rashid conceded 45 runs without a wicket in his four overs.

Powell hit one skyward, was dismissed for 26 off 15, and Andre Russell entered the crease in the 19th over. But his aim was to get Pooran back on strike, who had a century on his mind - he began on strike in the final over, however, Pooran fell short of his century by two runs. West Indies scored 17 runs in the last over taking team's total to 218/5.

Brief score: West Indies 218/5 (Nicholas Pooran 98, Johnson Charles 43; Gulbadin Naib 2-14) vs Afghanistan 114 (Ibrahim Zadran 38, Azmatullah Omarzai 23; Obed McCoy 3-14).