As the world is fighting it out for the elusive Champions Trophy in The United Kingdom, some 4400 miles away from that in the lovely Caribbean , Rashid Khan got his name entered in the record books picking up 4th best ODI figures of all time.
With the T20 series already in the bag, West Indies were brimming with confidence and Afghans knew they needed to turn things around quickly. Saint Lucia was hosting this day night affair between West Indies and Afghanistan.
Being already out of Champions Trophy and their direct qualification in 2019 World Cup still under scanner, this was a crucial ODI series for men from Caribbean as they will be facing lot tougher opposition in a couple of weeks time.
Afghanistan won the toss and captain Asghar Stanikzai elected to bat. Halfway through the innings he thought he may have got his decision wrong as things were going very slowly for Afghans. There was nothing really to talk about their batting except Javed Ahmadi”s 82 and a cameo of 41* off 28 from Gulbadin Naib. Afghanistan ended with a below par total of 212/6.
Their bowler needed to make early inroads to Jeep themselves in the hunt. They did just that as their spearhead Dawlat Zadran dismissed Powell cheaply. At 68/2 from 22 overs, the WI run chase was going pretty steady before Rashid wrecked a havoc.
Rashid ran through West Indies” middle order dismissing Jason Mohammad, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Ashley Nurse and Jason Holder all in quick succession reducing WI to 90/7. Jonathan Carter and Alzarri Joseph tried to provide some resistance with 19 and 27 respectively but that was nowhere near good enough as WI were skittled out for 149.
Rashid Khan is an invaluable asset to Afghanistan side and undoubtedly the best teenager in cricketing world at the moment. After a sensational start to his career he is looked upon to become Afghanistan”s Shane Warne. He has a big task of handling the spin department when Afghanistan get Test status in few years time.
Afghanistan 212/6 from 50 overs (Ahmadi 82, Naib 41*; Nurse 2/34) beat West Indies 149/10 from 44.4 overs (Hope 35, Joseph 27; Rashid Khan 7/18) by 63 runs.
– by Atharva Apte