Afghanistan defeated West Indies by 41 runs in the 2nd T20I match to level the series played at Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajypee Stadium Ekana International Stadium, Lucknow on Saturday. Despite scoring 147 for 7, the Afghan bowlers and fielders did a brilliant job to restrict West Indies.
Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan won the toss and decided to bat first. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazaratullah Zazai gave the team a flying start putting pressure the West Indies new ball bowlers. Gurbaz looked confident with his stroke play. Kesrick Williams got breakthrough for West Indies dismissing Gurbaz for 26 off 15 balls. Gurbaz and Zazai added 42 runs in 4.2 overs. Williams struck again by getting Zazai off the next ball. Karim Janat played with positive intent and scored a quick fire 26 off 18 balls. At the end of six overs, Afghanistan were 52 for 2.
After the power play overs, the West Indies bowlers kept a tight line and length not allowing Afghan batsmen to score runs easily on a slow pitch. West Indies reduced Afghanistan to 97 for 6 in the 15th over. Gulbadin Naib and Najibullah Zadran provided late impetus for the hosts as they added 44 runs for the 7th wicket. Naib scored a quick fire 24 off 18 balls and helped Afghanistan post 147 for 7 in 20 overs. For West Indies, Williams was the pick of bowlers with 3 for 23, Keemo Paul and Jason Holder took 2 wickets each.
It was a very disciplined effort by the Afghanistan bowlers who created pressure on the West Indies openers. Naveen UL Haq got the breakthrough dismissing Brandon King for 12. West Indies scored 29 for 1 at the end of six overs.
After the power play overs, Afghanistan bowled with tight line and lengths not allowing West Indies batsmen to score runs easily. Karim Janat dismissed Shimron Hetymer, Evin Lewis and Sheraine Rutherford in quick succession to leave West Indies at 45 for 4. With the run rate climbing, the captain of West Indies team Kieron Pollard struggled and was dismissed cheaply for 7. Rashid Khan got the wicket of Jason Holder which ended West Indies hope of winning the match. Karim Janat bowled Keemo Paul to pick his maiden five wicket haul. Denesh Ramadin remained not out on 24 as West Indies scored just 106 for 8 in 20 overs.
Afghanistan 147 for 7 in 20 overs ( Rahmanullah Gurbaz 26, Karim Janat 26, Kesrick Williams 3/23, Jason Holder 2/23) beat West Indies 106 for 8 in 20 overs ( Denesh Ramdin 24*, Karim Janat 5/11) by 41 runs.
Karim Janat was awarded the man of the match for his 5 for 11. The series is levelled at 1-1. The third and deciding T20I match will be played at the same ground tomorrow.