12 November 2019 08:42
Shai Hope hit an unbeaten 109 as West Indies chased down 250 to beat Afghanistan by five wickets in their third one-day international and clinch a first ODI series sweep in five years. SCORECARD | AS IT HAPPENED Hope's seventh ODI century was a measured 149-ball effort as the opener helped his side recover from a dreadful start to their run-chase, with the West Indies slipping to 4-2 inside the opening three overs. Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2-49) dismissed talented left-handed hitters Evin Lewis (1) and Shimron Hetmyer (0), both lbw to almost identical deliveries, in his second over. Hope led the recovery, first with Brandon King (39) - on his ODI debut - as the pair put on 64 for the third wicket before King was bowled by Rashid Khan (1-46). But Hope found further willing partners, with Nicholas Pooran (21), captain Keiron Pollard (32) and Roston Chase (42no) all too sharing in half-century stands with the mainstay of the innings.
Hope reached his hundred in the 45th over before Chase struck the winning runs with eight balls to spare, clinching a first ODI series whitewash for the West Indies since a 3-0 win over Bangladesh in 2014. Earlier, Asghar Afghan struck 86 from 85 balls, while opener Hazratullah Zazai and veteran allrounder Mohammad Nabi both scored fifty, as Afghanistan tallied 249-7 after being put into bat. Keemo Paul impressed for the West Indies, the seamer talking 3-44 from his 10 overs in his first action of the series, while paceman Alzarri Joseph took 2-59. It was the destructive pace pairing of Paul and Joseph that did the damage early on, reducing Afghanistan to 74-4 inside the opening 20 overs, before Asghar and Nabi lifted the team up to a dependable total. It wasn't to be, however, as Hope's fine hundred ensure a clean sweep in the series for the West Indies.
"Winning is a habit, and anything that we want to do as a team is a process, and it's something we had to improve in a period of time. "This was an opportunity for us to show we have that kind of venom inside us. We knew we had to rally as a team, and we proved we can bat 50 overs, and once we do that, we can win games." Paceman Keemo Paul played a key role in the win, returning figures of 3-44 in Afghanistan's 249 for seven. Afghanistan's teenage spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman took two wickets to reduce West Indies to four for two but Hope stood firm to keep the chase on track. Hope, who starred in the opening win with an unbeaten 77, remained the top-scorer in the series with 229 runs. Man of the match Hope got support from debutant Brandon King, who made 39, and Pollard, who hit 32. Chase was named man of the series for his 145 runs including a highest of 94 in the three matches and six wickets with his off-spin. Afghan-Nabi stand Afghanistan, led by Rashid Khan, were outplayed in all three matches in their newly adopted home in Lucknow. India has been the home of the war-torn nation's cricket team since 2015. A 127-run partnership between Asghar Afghan and Mohammad Nabi gave Afghanistan a fighting total from a precarious 118-5 after being invited to bat first. Afghan made 86 off 85 balls and Nabi remained unbeaten on 50 to thwart a persistent West Indies bowling. Opener Hazratullah Zazai hit an attacking 50 but the rest of the top-order fell flat. Afghan, who hit three fours and six sixes, then took stock to re-build and Nabi joined forces with the batting pair taking the attack to the opposition. Nabi, who hit three fours and a six in his 66-ball stay, raised his 15th ODI fifty on the penultimate ball of the innings as Afghanistan managed 54 runs from the last five overs. "We were just trying to be better in each and every game. There were more positives from us in today's game," said Rashid. "The kind of finishing we got from Asghar and Nabi gave us a chance to win the game. We should have defended this total, but Hope played without giving us any chances." He added, "We have to focus on doing the right things, and making the right decisions at the right time. T20 is all about enjoyment, and we have to keep enjoying, whether in batting, bowling or fielding. The results will take care of themselves." The two teams will now play three Twenty20 internationals om Lucknow starting November 14. Stylish batsman Shai Hope slammed an unbeaten century to steer the West Indies to a comprehensive five-wicket win over Afghanistan in the third ODI and complete a 3-0 whitewash here on Monday. Chasing 250 for a win, Hope, opening the innings, smashed three sixes and eight fours in his 145-ball 109 not out to help West Indies overhauled the target, scoring 253 for 5 in 48.4 overs. He was ably supported by Roston Chase (42 not out), Brandon King (39), Nicholas Pooran (21) and skipper Kieron Pollard (32). Earlier, put into bat, Afghanistan posted a competitive 249 for 7, riding on Asghar Afghan's 85-ball 86 and fifties from opener Hazratullah Zazai (50) and Mohammad Nabi (50 not out). Asghar and Nabi shared a 127-run partnership for the sixth wicket after Afghanistan slipped to 118 for 5 to lift the team to a good score. For the West Indies, Keemo Paul (3/44) snapped three wickets, Alzarri Joseph (2/59) took two, while Romario Shepherd (1/47) and Roston Chase (1/24) accounted for one each. West Indies were reduced to 4 fo 2 early in their chase with Mujeeb striking twice in the third over. The spinner dismissed Evin Lewis (1) and Shimron Hetmyer (0) early but King and Hope added 64 runs before Rashid Khan cleaned up the latter. Pooran then joined Hope and the duo took West Indies past the 100-run mark before the former became a victim of Sharafuddin Ashraf in the 29th over. Pollard then shared 63 runs with Hope but the skipper was removed by Nabi in the 38th over. Chase and Hope then took the team home. Brief Scores: Afghanistan: 249 for 7 in 50 overs (Asghar Afghan 86; Keemo Paul 3/44) lose to West Indies: 253 for 5 in 48.4 overs (Shai Hope 109 not out; Mujeeb Ur Rahman 2/49) by 5 wickets.