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Afghanistan bundled out for 194

06 Nov 2019 CricBuzz

Afghanistan did not enjoy a flying start to life in their new home venue - the Atal Bihari Vajpayee stadium in Lucknow - as they wilted under the relentless pressure from the West Indies bowlers all through the innings, folding for just 194 in the 46th over. This despite fighting knocks from the young Ikram Ali Khil (58) and the experienced Rahmat Shah (61) that saw the home side achieve a semblance of control through the middle phase.

West Indies, who lost the practice match while batting first, decided to bowl on Wednesday. There was a hint of movement for the quicks early on which saw Afghanistan openers Javed Ahmadi and Hazratullah Zazai take a cautious route at the start. Sheldon Cottrell constantly probed the two batsmen with testing lengths, and eventually broke through with a peach of a yorker to Zazai that saw his leg stump out of the ground. Holder then got Ahmedi to nick one to second slip to reduce Afghanistan to 15 for 2 in the sixth over.

Afghanistan then began the slow rebuild via Ikram and Rahmat. It took until the 15th over for the pair to get the side past the 50-run mark as Pollard rotated his bowling options well. The two batsmen took a liking for debutant leggie Romario Shepherd, hitting him for 25 runs in his first spell, while also smashing Alzarri Joseph for 12 runs in his comeback over in the 22nd. That gave the innings a bit of pace as both batsmen were headed for respective half-centuries. Ikram Ali Khil got there first, but fell while trying to congratulate Rahmat when he reached his fifty. Ikram failed to notify the West Indies players or the umpire that he was getting out of the crease after completing a run. Shai Hope still had the ball in his hand when Ikram went wandering, and paid the price as the keepr knocked the bails off.

West Indies took that moment as a chance to carve open the Afghanistan line-up, as Roston Chase dismissed Najibullah Zadran for a three-ball duck in the same over. Rahmat carried on until the 33rd over, before Chase sent him packing too - for an 80-ball 61. This wicket became the starting point of a massive collapse, as they went from 152 for 5 to 194 all out, despite Asghar Afghan's brief defiance. It took an exceptional fielding effort at first slip from Jason Holder to run the former captain out for a 52-ball 35.

Rashid Khan fell for a two-ball duck, and his side fell apart in the 45th over to give West Indies a big chance to draw first blood.

Brief Scores: Afghanistan 194 in 45.2 overs (Rahmat Shah 61, Ikram Ali Khil 58; Jason Holder 2-21, Roston Chase 2-31, Romario Shepherd 2-32) vs West Indies.


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