West Indies completed a comprehensive victory by nine wickets in the one-off Test against Afghanistan at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Friday morning. On a hazy morning which required the use of floodlights, captain Jason Holder took all three wickets to mop up the tail as Afghanistan were bowled out for 120.
It took only an hour to wrap up the match on the third day after Afghanistan resumed on 109-7, but their meek resistance lasted just 43 balls as they added just 11 runs. Holder ended with 3-20 off his 6.2 overs. The first to go was Rashid Khan, who edged a delivery outside off as Shane Dowrich held onto a low catch, diving to his right. He was followed by Yamin Ahmadzai, who played down the wrong line and ended up losing his off stump. Holder then picked up his third, as Afsar Zazai edged another impeccable outswinger into the safe gloves of Dowrich.
Asked to make 31 to win, the visitors sped to 33-1. Openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell struck a flurry of boundaries in the first couple of overs to rapidly race towards their small target. They suffered a small hiccup as Hamza Hotak lured Brathwaite to play on his front foot as the ball kissed his outside edge and went through to the keeper. However, Campbell stuck to the script and hit the winning runs with West Indies chasing down the total in less than seven overs.
Rahkeem Cornwall was the star of the show as he finished with match figures of 10-121 – 7-75 in the first innings and 3-46 in the second to be the undisputed Man-of-the-Match. He also held three catches at first slip. The 26-year-old, in his second Test match, said it was a delight to contribute in such a major way to the team’s success. He signaled that the introduction he had against India on debut in August in Jamaica served as a good eye-opener. He also indicated he sees himself primarily as a batting-allrounder and is hoping to get big scores in the future.
“I’m simply delighted with my performance … playing for West Indies was my dream as a youngster and now 10 wickets in a Test match is amazing,” he told analyst Ian Bishop at the end of match ceremony.
“I need to take this as far as I can. The India series was a good one. Pitches back home are similar…so the India series helped. Everyone at home is full of joy. They are celebrating at home. Just want to say thanks for the support. Runs will come, hope to put in a good performance with the bat as well,” he added. (CWI)