WI vs AFG 1st T20I: Lewis, Pollard star as West Indies take 1-0 lead over Afghanistan
West Indies keep their winning form in the Twenty20 series after the ODIs. They beat Afghanistan by 30 runs in the first T20 of the three-match series. As a result, now they lead the series by 1-0.
With the help of opener Evin Lewis’ fifty and captain Kieron Pollard’s destructive cameo at the end of the innings, West Indies scored 164 runs for 5 wickets in 20 overs in Lucknow. Afghanistan stumbled at the start of the chase, and managed to score 134 runs losing 9 wickets in destined 20 overs.
West Indies lost the toss and invited to bat. They lost opener Brandon King in the first over. But another opener, Evin Lewis, handled that damage with Shimron Hetmyer. They added 87 runs off just 55 balls in second wicket.
Hetmyer could not do much benefit by staying a long time in crease. He scored 21 runs off 21 balls. However, Lewis was in devastating touch. The left-hander picked-up the fifty by just 26 balls and scored 68 runs off 41 balls. His innings included four fours and six sixes.
Lewis was dismissed in the 12th over when he tried to hit the shot over the boundary in Gulbuddin Naib’s delivery. After that, the run rate decreased gradually for West Indies.
After a year of his return due to Nicholas Pooran’s ban, the keeper-batsman Dinesh Ramdin failed to take advantage. Captain Kieron Pollard was not in the rhythm from the beginning. But in the last over, the middle order batsman took 14 runs by hitting one six and one four. He was unbeaten on 32 for two fours and one six.
Gulbadin Naib, Afghanistan’s best bowler took 2 wickets for 24 runs in 4 overs.
The Afghans lost opener Rahmatullah Gurbaz and 17-year old Ibrahim Zadran within 7 runs. Losing two quick wickets did not bring runs in sufficient run rate. Aggressive opener Hazratullah Zazai faced 29 balls bus scored just 23 runs. Asghar Afghan made 25 off 21 balls. Kesrick Williams took the wicket of both batsmen.
After that no one could fight. Najibullah Zadran’s efforts were stopped by spinner Hayden Walsh. Najibullah scored 27 runs off 22 balls with three fours and one six. In the end, Fareed Ahmad scored a 24-run innings off 15 balls which just reduced the losing marging.
Kesrick Williams took 3 wickets for 17 runs in 4 overs. Pollard and leg spinner Hayden Walsh took two wickets each.
The second match of the series will be played at the same ground on Saturday.
West Indies: 164/5 in 20 overs (King 8, Lewis 68, Hetmyer 21, Ramdin 20, Pollard 32 *, Allen 5*; Mujeeb 1/27, Rashid 1/34, Naveen 1/49, Gulbadin 2/24)
Afghanistan: 134/9 in 20 overs (Zazai 23, Asghar 25, Najibullah 27, Nabi 7, Fareed 24*, Mujeeb 8*; Cottrell 1/5, Holder 1/29, Williams 3/17, Pollard 2/17, Walsh 2/34)
Toss: Afghanistan, elected to bowl first
Result: West Indies won by 30 runs
Man of the Match: Evin Lewis