Thanks to another brilliant knock by Shai Hope, West Indies defeated Afghanistan by 5 wickets in the third and final ODI played at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Ekana International Stadium, Lucknow on Monday.
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard won the toss and decided to field first. It was an ideal start as Alzarri Joseph got the breakthrough getting the wicket of Ibhraim Zadran for 2. Rahmat Shah and Hazratullah Zazai steadied the ship for Afghanistan putting 30 runs for the 2nd wicket before Keemo Paul took the wicket of Shah for 10. At the end of 10 overs, Afghanistan were 45 for 2.
After the power play overs, Zazai looked impressive with his stroke play trying to put pressure on West Indies bowling line up. Ikram Akhil was dismissed cheaply for 9 by Keemo Paul. Zazai reached his fifty off 57 balls and soon played a bad stroke to leave Afghanistan at 74 for 4. Najibullah Zadran and Asghar Afghan steadied the ship taking singles and hitting boundaries. Roston Chase was bought into the attack and got the wicket of Najibullah Zadran for 30. Najibullah and Asghar added 44 runs for the 5th wicket.
Asghar Afghan and experienced Mohammad Nabi took singles and hit the bad balls away for boundaries. In the last 10 overs, both Afghan batsmen made the batting look easy. Afghan reached his fifty off 67 balls. After reaching his fifty and soon created pressure on West Indies bowlers with big hits. In the 49th over, Asghar Afghan was dismissed for well made 86 off 85 balls with 3 fours and 6 sixes. Nabi and Afghan added 127 runs for the 6th wicket. Mohammad Nabi completed his fifty off 6 balls. Afghanistan posted 249 for 7 in 50 overs.
Chasing 250 runs to win, it was a shaky start as Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetymer were dismissed in 3rd over by Mujeeb Ur Rahman to leave West Indies at 4 for 2 . Shai Hope and the debutant Brandon King played with caution and took West Indies at 32 for 2 in 10 overs.
After the power play overs, Hope and King continued to hit boundaries at will which put pressure on Afghanistan bowlers. Rashid Khan dismissed King for a superb 39 off 56 balls. King and Hope added 64 runs for the 3rd wicket. Hope continued to play with positive intent to reach his fifty off 76 balls. Nicolas Pooran also joined in with some attacking strokes which put Afghan bowlers under pressure. Sharafuddin Ashraf got the breakthrough dismissing Pooran for 21. Pooran and Hope added 51 runs for the 4th wicket.
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard took on Afghan bowlers which made sure that the visitors were on course for a victory. Nabi dismissed Pollard for a quickfire 32 off 26 balls. Pollard and Hope added 63 runs for the 5th wicket.
Roston Chase joined in the party along with Hope and steered West Indies to a five-wicket win. Hope reached his century off 133 balls. Chase and Hope added unbeaten 71 runs for the 6th wicket. West Indies won the match by 5 wickets with 8 balls to spare.
West Indies 253 for 5 in 48.4 overs ( Shai Hope 109*, Brandon King 39, Mujeeb Ur Rahman 2/49) beat Afghanistan 249 for 7 in 50 overs ( Asghar Afghan 86, Nabi 50*, Hazaratullah Zazai 50, Keemo Paul 3/44) by 5 wickets.
Shai Hope was awarded the man of the match for his brilliant 109* while Roston Chase named the man of the series for his all-round performance. Under the new captain, Kieron Pollard West Indies have whitewashed Afghanistan.