On Sunday (17th October) night, Afghanistan won the series decider third and final T20I of the series against Windies at Lucknow and created a history. Afghanistan won this match by 29 runs and won this series by 2-1.
Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan decided to bat first after winning the toss. But apart from the opener and wicketkeeper-batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz, other top-orders failed in that innings. Another opener Hazratullah Zazai (0), no.3 batsman Karim Janat (2) and no.4 batsman Ibrahim Zadran (1) all lost their wickets cheaply.
However, those dismissals didn’t put any effect on Gurbaz’s game as he continued his superb batting performance and carried that innings in his own responsibility. With Asghar Afghan, Gurbaz put a very crucial fourth-wicket partnership of 50 runs.
Apart from Gurbaz, only Asghar Afghan (24) reached the 20-run mark in that innings. Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored 79 runs off 52 balls (6 fours and 5 sixes). At late of that innings, Najibullah Zadran (14) and Mohammad Nabi (15) played small cameos which helped Afghanistan to manage the challenging first innings total of 156/8 in 20 overs.
Among the Windies bowlers, Sheldon Cottrell (2/29), Kesrick Williams (2/31) and Keemo Paul (2/26) took two wickets each.
Afghanistan bowlers overpowered Windies batsmen
Chasing down that target, Windies lost their wickets at regular intervals. Apart from the opener Evin Lewis and the wicketkeeper-batsman Shai Hope, all other Caribbean batsmen failed to reach the 20-run mark.
Lewis scored 24 runs and Hope was the only Windies batsman who put a strong challenge in that innings. Before losing his wicket in 19th over, Hope scored 52 runs off 46 balls (3 fours and only six). However, he didn’t get much help from the other batsmen. Finally, Afghanistan restricted the Caribbean side to just 127/7 (20 overs).
The right-arm pacer Naveen-ul-Haq (3/24) was the only Afghanistan bowler to scalp more than one wicket while his other fellow bowlers took one wicket each, except Mohammad Nabi (0/13).
While Afghanistan won this series, it is the first time when they won a bilateral series in international cricket against Windies.
Earlier, Windies won the first match of this series by 30 runs while Afghanistan levelled this series after beating the Caribbean side by 41 runs in the second T20I.