Afghanistan vs West Indies: Karim Janat’s dream spell helps Afghans level T20I series

Adithya Sundar 21:27 16/11/2019
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Image-ICC/Twitter

A superb Afghanistan bowling performance led by medium pacer Karim Janat stunned the West Indies at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow in a must-win encounter.

Electing to bat, the Afghans made a solid start before floundering in the middle overs to finish with a below par score of 147 for seven.

The West Indies lost wickets regularly in the chase and eventually succumbed to 41-run defeat.

Medium pacers wreak havoc

If it was Karim Janat for the Afghans, it was Kesrick Williams for the Windies in the first innings. As openers, Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz provided a rapid start with the bat, Williams struck twice in two deliveries with some well disguised change of pace.

Once the Zazai and Gurbaz fell, it provided an opening for the Windies to stop the flow of runs and the rest of the bowlers capitalised.

Middle-order batsman Najibullah Zadran held the innings together with a patient knock of 20 as Gulbadin Naib’s cameo in the final overs propelled the score to 147 for seven.

During the chase, Elwin Lewis couldn’t find his range after losing his partner Brandon Williams early on and the West Indies could only manage 29 runs in the first six overs.

As Lewis and Shimron Hetmeyer were getting their eye in, Rashid Khan’s move to bring in Janat paid dividends. He was lucky to get his first wicket as Hetmeyer was wrongly adjudged LBW but there was no luck involved in the other dismissals.

Lewis mistimed a slog and holed out while both Kieron Pollard and Sherfane Rutherford were dismissed by beautiful deliveries. The skipper was trapped LBW by a ball that darted in sharply while the left-hander nicked a delivery angled across him, through to the keeper. Janat later returned to complete his fifer, castling Keemo Paul with the perfect yorker.

Just like Zadran in the Afghanistan innings, Denesh Ramdin waged a lone vigil for the Windies, scoring an unbeaten 24 off 27 deliveries.

CPL stars flop again

Brandon King was the highest run-getter in the 2019 CPL. Image - Windies Cricket/Twitter

Brandon King was the highest run-getter in the 2019 CPL. Image – Windies Cricket/Twitter

Big-hitting batsman Brandon King and leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr. once again failed to have an impact on the game. The opener’s 14-ball stay was a struggle and he finally fell failing to pick an off-cutter from Naveen-ul-Haq, only to see his stumps disturbed. King has scored 16 runs in the two T20Is so far.

As the pacers picked wickets, there was no joy for the spinner Walsh. He was removed from the attack after his second over in which he conceded 14 runs. The former American spinner who was known for economy rate in the Caribbean Premier League has been a touch expensive in this series, leaking 52 runs in the six overs he has bowled so far.

With series level at one win apiece, the decider will be played at the same venue on November 17.

Second T20I Brief Scores:

Afghanistan – 147/7 (Zazai 26, Gurbaz 26; Williams 3-23)

West Indies – 106/8 (Ramdin 24*; Janat 5-11)

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