Hope helps West Indies to 311-6 against Afghanistan

Arnold Nichols
July 5, 2019

The Caribbean side began the tournament with a comprehensive seven-wicket win against Pakistan and many tipped them as dark horses for the title, with a power-packed batting line-up and fearsome pace attack.

Hope went on to be West Indies' top scorer with 77 in the group match Afghanistan lost by 23 runs at Headingley on Thursday, piling on the misery for Rashid in a tournament he'll be glad to put behind him.

Gayle was caught behind after a slash against Dawlat Zadran for just seven and remains 10 runs short of Brian Lara's all-time record for the West Indies of 10,348 one-day worldwide runs.

It would prove costly as Pooran and Holder laid siege to the boundary rope in a 105-run stand, the latter thumping four sixes, before both departed in the final over. In the 2023 World Cup, Shimron Hetmyer will be 26, Nicholas Pooran 27, and Shai Hope 29.

They were by no means outsiders against the Windies, having won three of their four completed previous encounters, including both matches in the qualifying tournament in Harare past year.

But Pooran picked up where he left off against Sri Lanka, hitting 58 to add to his century in a losing cause earlier this week, and Holder smashed a quickfire 45. The wicket gets good for the spinners later on. Pakistan's vastly inferior net run-rate to fourth-placed New Zealand means they must win the toss, bat first and then secure a record ODI winning margin of at least 316 runs.

Now Gayle, in his final World Cup match, intervened decisively.

West Indies got the breakthrough they so desperately needed when Rahmat - dropped on 57 by Cottrell at long-off - was caught by Gayle at short extra cover as he looked to work leg-side.

It was an inauspicious start but he gradually grew in confidence alongside Evin Lewis, who was initially more authoritative in reaching 44 from 43 balls, only to add 14 off his next 35 before holing out off Rashid for 58.

Both Afghanistan and West Indies are out of the semifinal race, however, Afghanistan will look to register their maiden win in the tournament.

On the other hand, Afghanistan also made two changes in the team.

Neither batsman had gone past a half-century in this tournament but the Windies' bowling and fielding lacked penetration, which allowed the Afghanistan pair to rebuild.

Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib has criticized the professionalism and fitness of his team after it ended the Cricket World Cup with nine losses in nine matches.

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