Afghanistan Thrash West Indies to Win by 7 Wickets
27 March, 2018, 17:26 | Author: Diane Mills
However, captain Asghar Stanikzai posted 39 not out off 29 balls to see out the win for Afghanistan with five balls to spare.
It is a spectacular reversal of fortunes for Afghanistan.
Afghanistan had been the only side to previously beat the Windies in the competition as both teams secured spots in next year's World Cup - and when Stuart Law's side were bowled out for a mediocre 204 on Sunday, a repeat was on the cards.
Sunday's victor will join Sri Lanka (1979), Zimbabwe (1982, 1986 and 1990), United Arab Emirates (1994), Bangladesh (1997), Netherlands (2001), Scotland (2005 and 2014) and Ireland (2009) to lift the silverware of one of the most competitive and keenly-contested tournaments on the cricket calendar.
"When we played the game against Zimbabwe we beat them with four spinners as well", the Barbadian reminded.
"The nature of the pitch here at the Harare Sports club would dictate that anything in success of 220 is a pretty good score and if we bat first, we would be looking to get anywhere around that, and I back my bowlers to come and defend it". Their inability to take control of the proceedings is evident from the fact that they played a total of 174 dot balls and scored only 102 runs in the last 20 overs, including 66 runs for the loss of three wickets in the last 10 overs.
Of what to expect from Afghanistan at the World Cup, Simmons added: "I'll leave that as a little surprise because I'm sure there are youngsters coming out of the woodwork and will want to play in that World Cup so we will go through things over the next five or six months and then we'll decide what the squad looks like".
Originally touted as favourites alongside West Indies to grab one of the two qualification berths, Afghanistan made a poor start in the group stage and won only once in four matches, against Nepal. It was not just the dream of us the team, it was the dream of Afghanistan.
"We have beaten them twice in this tournament".
West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Nikita Miller, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels and Kesrick Williams.
Yet wickets began to fall, with Simi Singh taking three crucial scalps as Ireland clawed their way back into the game.
Knowing the odds at stake today, the Afghan outfit were clinical, restricting Ireland to 209 for seven off their 50 overs, with champion leg-spinner Khan claiming three for 40.
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