In a thrilling encounter at the Daren Sammy National Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia, the West Indies demonstrated their cricketing prowess, securing a decisive 104-run victory over Afghanistan in their final group match of the T20 World Cup 2024. With this win, the West Indies topped Group C, setting a high bar for the upcoming Super Eight stage. Let’s delve into the highlights and key moments of this electrifying match.

Nicholas Pooran was the star of the show, playing a sensational innings that left cricket fans around the world in awe. His blistering 53-ball 98 was a masterclass in T20 batting, propelling the West Indies to a formidable total of 218 for 5. Pooran’s knock included an array of powerful strokes, with sixes and fours raining down at the Daren Sammy National Stadium.

After the early loss of Brendon King in the second over, Pooran and Johnson Charles steadied the ship. They launched a ferocious attack on the Afghan bowlers, taking the score to 92/1 by the end of the powerplay, the highest powerplay score in T20 World Cup history. Charles contributed a solid 45, but it was Pooran who stole the spotlight with his aggressive batting and remarkable shot selection.

Afghanistan’s bowlers, despite a few good spells, struggled to contain the West Indies’ aggressive batting. The spinners managed to slow down the scoring rate in the middle overs, but Pooran’s onslaught in the final stages of the innings undid their efforts. Rashid Khan, the Afghan spin wizard, picked up 2 wickets but was unable to prevent the West Indies from reaching their highest total in T20 World Cups.

Chasing a mammoth target of 219, Afghanistan never really found their footing. Obed McCoy, playing his first match of the tournament, was the wrecker-in-chief for the West Indies. McCoy’s fiery spell saw him take three crucial wickets, rattling the Afghan middle order and effectively ending their hopes of a successful chase.

Spinners Akeil Hosein and Gudakesh Motie complemented McCoy’s efforts, inflicting a stranglehold on the Afghan batsmen. Hosein and Motie picked up two wickets each, and Afghanistan were eventually bundled out for a meager 114 in 16.2 overs. It was a comprehensive bowling performance that highlighted the depth and versatility of the West Indies bowling attack.

West Indies Innings: 218/5 in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 98, Johnson Charles 45; Rashid Khan 2/35)
Afghanistan Innings: 114 all out in 16.2 overs (Obed McCoy 3/20, Akeil Hosein 2/18, Gudakesh Motie 2/25)
Result: West Indies won by 104 runs

Nicholas Pooran’s Form: Pooran’s explosive innings set the tone for the West Indies’ dominance in the match. His ability to play big shots consistently will be crucial in the Super Eight stage.
Bowling Depth: The West Indies showcased their bowling depth, with both pacers and spinners contributing to a well-rounded attack.
Afghanistan’s Resilience: Despite the loss, Afghanistan showed glimpses of their potential. Their spinners will be key in the upcoming matches.

Who was the standout performer in the match?

Nicholas Pooran was the standout performer with a sensational 98 off 53 balls.

How did the West Indies bowlers perform?

Obed McCoy led the bowling attack with 3 wickets, supported by Akeil Hosein and Gudakesh Motie, who took 2 wickets each.

What was Afghanistan’s response to the chase?

Afghanistan struggled to keep up with the high target, managing only 114 runs in 16.2 overs.

What is the significance of this win for the West Indies?

This win ensures the West Indies top Group C, boosting their confidence as they head into the Super Eight stage.

The West Indies’ emphatic 104-run victory over Afghanistan was a testament to their all-round capabilities. Nicholas Pooran’s explosive batting, coupled with a disciplined bowling performance, ensured a dominant display from the Caribbean side. As both teams advance to the Super Eight stage, the West Indies will be eager to maintain their momentum, while Afghanistan will look to bounce back and make a mark. Stay tuned for more thrilling cricket action and updates from the T20 World Cup 2024.

By Robin

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