Afghanistan defeated West Indies by 29 runs in the third and deciding T20I match played at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajypee Ekana International Stadium, Lucknow on Sunday.
Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan won the toss and decided to bat first. It was not an ideal start as they lost the wicket of Hazratullah Zazai in the very first over. Karim Janat also fell cheaply for 2 runs to leave the hosts at 12 for 2. At the end of six overs, Afghanistan were 32 for 2.
After the power play overs, Ibhraim Zadran was run out by Jason Holder for just 1. Asghar Afghan and Gurbaz steadied the Afghan innings putting pressure on the West Indies bowling line up. Keemo Paul broke 50 runs stand for the 4th wicket getting the wicket of Asghar Afghan for 24. Gurbaz showed his class and reached his fifty off 38 balls. After reaching his fifty, Gurbaz hit innovative strokes and put pressure on West Indies bowling. The 17 year old youngster played a brilliant knock scoring 79 off 52 balls with 6 fours and 5 sixes. Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi scored quick fire knocks to help Afghanistan post 156 for 8 in 20 overs. Sheldon Cottrell, Kesrick Williams and Keemo Paul took 2 wickets each for West Indies.
Chasing 157 runs to win, it was not an ideal start for West Indies as they an early wicket of Lendl Simmons cheaply bowled by Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Brandon King poor form continued in the series as he was dismissed for 1 run by Naveen UL Haq. Shai Hope and Evin Lewis struggled to score runs against the Afghan bowlers and ended at 32 for 2 at the end of six overs.
After the power play overs, Evin Lewis was LBW by Karim Janat for 24 off 23 balls. Hope looked confident with his stroke and took on Afghanistan bowlers. Rashid Khan provided the important breakthrough dismissing Hetymer for 11. Hetymer and Hope added 38 runs for the 4th wicket. Hope played with confidence taking singles and hitting occasional boundaries. With the run rate climbing, Kieron Pollard was dismissed hitting a big shot from Naveen UL Haq bowling. Hope reached his fifty off 43 balls.
With 39 runs required off 2 overs, Hope was dismissed by Gulbadin Naib for 52 off 46 balls. It was all over for West Indies as could only score 127 for 7 in 20 overs. Afghanistan won the T20I series after losing the 1st T20I by a massive margin.
Afghanistan 156 for 8 in 20 overs ( Rahmanullah Gurbaz 79, Keemo Paul 2/26) beat West Indies 127 for 7 in 20 overs ( Shai Hope 52, Naveen UL Haq 3/24) by 29 runs.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz was the awarded the man of the match for his 79 off 52 balls. Karim Janat was awarded the man of the series.