LUCKNOW: West Indies handed Afghanistan a crushing nine-wicket defeat within three days in their one-off cricket Test here on Friday.
Resuming their second innings at a precarious 109-7 at the Ekana Cricket Stadium with a lead of only 19 runs, Afghanistan were bowled out for 120 in its second innings within 30 minutes on the third morning.
Captain Jason Holder (3-20) polished off the Afghanistan tail with his seamers as he got the outside edges of his rival skipper Rashid Khan and Afsar Zazai’s bats and bowled Yamin Ahmadzai.
The West Indies then hurried to 33-1 with John Campbell remaining unbeaten on 19 when he smashed left-arm spinner Amir Hamza over mid-off for the winning boundary.
The only blot in an otherwise a comprehensive win for West Indies was the form of Kraigg Brathwaite, who fell for eight runs to Amir to continue a barren run in the test format.
‘This was really an important win after we had a tough series against India [and it] was important to finish the year well,” Holder said. “Credit to the boys, they stuck together well. It was very pleasing to see new guys come in and take the opportunity.
“Shamarh [Brooks] did that. He scored a 50 in the last innings and followed it with a 100 here, it was full of class and then Rahkeem [Cornwall] getting seven in the first innings [and 10 in the match] in just his second Test, is amazing.”
Afghanistan went into the match aiming to be the first country to win three of their first four Tests. Afghanistan lost to India inside two days in their inaugural Test, but then defeated Ireland and Bangladesh.
This one was no real contest, though, and Afghanistan are 2-2 since being elevated to the elite Test cricket ranks.
“I think, what I’ve seen, we’ve been struggling in the longer formats, especially in batting and thats the area we need to improve,” Afghanistan captain Rashid said. “We want more Test matches, the more we play Tests and ODIs, the better it is. Just one Test per year isn’t good enough.”
Off-spinner Cornwall was the architect of West Indies big win on a turning wicket in this northern Indian city with a match haul of 10-121.
Cornwall ran through the top order twice, returning figures of 7-75 and 3-46 that restricted Afghanistan to paltry totals of 187 and 120.
Brooks then notched his maiden Test hundred as the West Indies replied with 277 for a first-innings lead of 90.
Both teams had earlier split the white-ball series also played at the same venue. West Indies swept Afghanistan 3-0 in ODI series before Afghanistan won the Twenty20 International series 2-1 after losing the first match.
AFGHANISTAN (1st Innings) 187 (Javed Ahmadi 39; R.R.S. Cornwall 7-75).
WEST INDIES (1st Innings) 277 (S.S.J. Brooks 111, J.D. Campbell 55, S.O. Dowrich 42; Amir Hamza 5-74, Rashid Khan 3-114).
AFGHANISTAN (2nd Innings, overnight 109-7):
Ibrahim Zadran lbw b Cornwall 23
Javed Ahmadi c Cornwall b Chase 62
Ihsanullah run out 1
Rahmat Shah c Brooks b Cornwall 0
Asghar Afghan c Brooks b Cornwall 0
Nasir Jamal b Chase 15
Amir Hamza c Cornwall b Chase 1
Afsar Zazai c Dowrich b Holder 7
Rashid Khan c Dowrich b Holder 1
Yamin Ahmadzai b Holder 1
Zahir Khan not out 0
EXTRAS (B-4, LB-4, NB-1) 9
TOTAL (all out, 43.1 overs) 120
FALL OF WKTS: 1-53, 2-55, 3-55, 4-59, 5-96, 6-98, 7-109, 8-111, 9-119.
BOWLING: Roach 4-2-5-0; Holder 6.1-2-20-3; Warrican 12-3-31-0; Cornwall 18-3-46-3 (1nb); Chase 3-1-10-3.
WEST INDIES (2nd Innings):
K.C. Brathwaite c Afsar b Amir 8
J.D. Campbell not out 19
S.D. Hope not out 6
TOTAL (for one wkt, 6.2 overs) 33
FALL OF WKT: 1-22.
BOWLING: Yamin Ahmadzai 1-0-8-0; Javed Ahmadi 1-0-9-0; Amir Hamza 2.2-1-5-1; Rashid Khan 2-0-11-0.
RESULT: West Indies won by nine wickets.
UMPIRES: P.R. Reiffel (Australia) and N.N. Menon (India).
TV UMPIRE: Ahmed Shah Pakteen (Afghanistan).
MATCH REFEREE: B.C. Broad (England).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Rahkeem Cornwall.
Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2019