Wednesday, July 17, 2024

T20 World Cup results: West Indies thrash Afghanistan in statement win

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England, beware. This was West Indies showing why they are fancied by many as winners of this tournament.

Roared on by a raucous home crowd, they set a new record for the highest powerplay score at a T20 World Cup and continued on to their highest total in the history of the tournament.

West Indies’ early boundaries were streaky – no more so than Pooran’s first boundary, which flew over the rope at third man off the leading edge.

Fazalhaq Farooqi, the tournament’s leading wicket-taker, was thrashed for 28 in his first two overs but that was economical in comparison to the pummelling taking by Azmatullah Omarzai in the fourth over.

After Pooran’s edgy six, he followed with a no-ball that was pulled for four by Pooran before the subsequent free hit flew for wides over the wicketkeeper’s head. Still the pain was not done – four leg-byes and two sixes followed.

Afghanistan managed to drag the scoring back thereafter as Pooran put on 80 with Johnson Charles, who made 43, and 64 with Rovman Powell.

The left-hander went back up the gears to finish, however, by taking 24 runs from the 18th over bowled by Rashid, including three leg-side sixes. There were three balls to go when he was scampering back for two to give himself a chance of a first T20 hundred for West Indies but was run out from a direct hit from the deep despite a dive.

West Indies’ all-round effort with the ball was as impressively as Pooran’s highlight reel of classy hitting.

They have effective spinners, pace and experience and also caught everything in the field. They go into the game against England having won eight T20s in a row.

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