Thanks to Shamrah Brooks maiden Test century, Rakheem Cornwall and Roston Chase superb bowling effort has helped West Indies in a commanding position at the end of day 2 in one-off Test match against Afghanistan played at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana International Stadium, Lucknow on Thursday.
Starting on the overnight score of 68 for 2, John Campbell and Brooks played with positive intent against Afghan spinners. Campbell was aggressive with his stroke to reach his fifty off 66 balls. As things looked dangerous for Afghanistan, Aamir Hamza got the breakthrough dismissing Campbell for 55. Campbell and Brooks added 82 runs for the 3rd wicket. Rashid Khan and Aamir Hamza took 2 more quick wickets to bring back Afghanistan into the game. Brooks looked confident with his stroke play to reach his fifty off 88 balls. Shane Dowrich struggled against the Afghanistan spinners but remained steady to end the first session at 195 for 5.
In the 2nd session, Brooks and Dowrich continued to play the Afghan spinners well. Zahir Khan provided breakthrough for Afghanistan dismissing Dowrich for 42. Dowrich and Brooks added 74 runs for the 6th wicket. Aamir Hamza and Rashid Khan were superb with their line and lengths to pick wickets of Jason Holder, Rakheem Cornwall. On the other hand, Brooks completed his maiden Test century off 198 balls and finally was dismissed by Hamza for 111. Hamza took his 5th wicket in his debut Test match by getting the wicket of Kemar Roach. West Indies were bowled out for 277 with a lead of 90 runs. The umpires decided to call tea break.
The third session saw the Afghanistan openers Javed Ahmadi and Ibhraim Zadran play with positive intent. Ahmadi survived as Cornwall overstepped which gave the opener a chance to score big runs. Both openers played with confidence and look to put pressure on West Indies. Cornwall provided the breakthrough dismissing Zadran for 23. Zadran and Ahmadi added 53 for the opening wicket. There was an horrendous mix-up to end the innings for Ihansullah. Cornwall dismissed Rahmat Shah and Asghar Afghan to put Afghanistan under pressure at 59 for 4.
Nasir Jamal came to the crease and played some lovely strokes. Roston Chase was bought into the attack and got wicket of Jamal for 15. Jamal and Ahmadi added 37 runs for the 6th wicket. Chase then dismissed Aamir Hamza. Ahmadi reached his fifty off 79 balls. Before the close of play, Chase got the wicket of well-set Ahmadi for 62. Afghanistan ended the 2nd day in big trouble at 109 for 7 with a lead of just 19 runs.
Afghanistan 187 in 68.3 overs ( Javed Ahmadi 39, Amir Hamza 34, Rakheem Cornwall 7/75) and 109 for 7 in 36 overs ( Javed Ahmadi 62, Rakheem Cornwall 3/41, Roston Chase 3/10) lead West Indies 277 in 83.3 overs (Brooks 111, John Campbell 55, Shane Dowrich 42, Rashid Khan 1/24, Amir Hamza 5/74, Rashid Khan 3/114, Zahir Khan 2/53) Afghanistan 187 in 68.3 overs ( Javed Ahmadi 39, Amir Hamza 34, Rakheem Cornwall 7/75) by 19 runs.