CWC 2019: Holder and Pooran fire West Indies in Afghanistan clash

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(AFP) — A late flourish from captain Jason Holder and Nicholas Pooran helped West Indies set Afghanistan a daunting 312 to win on Thursday as they seek a morale-boosting victory after a poor World Cup campaign.

The Caribbean side began the tournament with a comprehensive seven-wicket win against Pakistan and many tipped them as dark horses for the title, with a power-packed batting line-up and fearsome pace attack.

But the two-time champions have not won a single match since then and sit second from bottom of the 10-team table, with only Afghanistan below them.

Holder won the toss and decided to bat in the Leeds sunshine but the West Indies soon lost Chris Gayle, caught behind after a slash against Dawlat Zadran for just seven in what is almost certain to be his final World Cup innings.

Gayle’s dismissal means the 39-year-old is 10 runs short of Brian Lara’s all-time West Indian record of 10,348 one-day international runs, though he has indicated he is not yet hanging up his boots.

Evin Lewis (58) and Shai Hope (77) came together and put on 88 for the second wicket before they were separated in the 25th over.

But Pooran picked up where he left off against Sri Lanka, hitting 58 to add to his century in a losing cause earlier this week, and Holder smashed a quickfire 45.

Carlos Brathwaite lashed 14 off four balls as West Indies ended their 50 overs on 311-6.

Highly rated leg-spinner Rashid Khan ended the tournament with just six wickets after taking 1-52 on Thursday.

Afghanistan, playing in only their second World Cup, have endured a miserable tournament, losing all eight of their matches so far.