Windies clinch series with easy win in rain-hit affair

BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – West Indies easily beat an out-of-sorts Afghanistan by 29 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis system in a low-key, rain-hit affair, to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series here Saturday night.

In a contest reduced to 15 overs per side at Warner Park, West Indies rallied to 112 for three with Chadwick Walton top-scoring with 29, his opening partner Lewis getting 25 and Marlon Samuels, 22.

Set a revised target of 123, Afghanistan never looked the part and faded quickly without so much as a whimper to end on 93 all out with nine balls remaining.

Seamer Kesrick Williams finished with three for 11 to take Man-of-the-Match honours while captain and medium pacer Carlos Brathwaite claimed two for 26.

West Indies, who won Friday’s opener by six wickets, will now look to make a clean sweep of the series in the final match today at the same venue.

Saturday’s win broke a losing slide for the reigning World champions who had lost back-to-back T20 series to Pakistan in the last 10 months.

Opting to bat first, West Indies were away to a flier as Walton and Lewis put on 42 off 27 deliveries.

The right-handed Walton faced 17 deliveries and struck four fours and one six before holing out to long-on off off-spinner Mohammad Nabi in the fifth over.

Mohammad Nabi is run out by Chadwick Walton. (Cricket West Indies photo)

Lewis, who blasted a four and a six in a 28-ball knock, put on a further 32 for the second wicket with Samuels before he perished in the 10th over, pulling seamer Karim Janat into the deep.

West Indies had reached 79 for two after 11 overs when heavy rain caused a near two-hour break in the innings.

With just four overs left to face after a revision of overs on resumption, the hosts managed to add only 33 runs as the Afghan bowlers kept their wits about them under pressure.

Afghanistan appeared to lack a clear plan for their run chase and quickly lost Gulbadin Naib in the third over for 12, bowled by leg-spinner Samuel Badree with the score on 15.

Williams then struck twice in the following over – the first of his spell – to further set back the visitors.

First, he had opener Noor Ali Zadran caught at short fine leg by Jerome Taylor for six after being tucked up by a short ball and off the very next delivery, claimed Samiullah Shenwari without scoring to a catch at the wicket.

Tottering on 19 for three, Afghanistan continued to lose wickets steadily. Mohammad Nabi stylishly cut off-spinner Sunil Narine behind square for four in the seventh over but was then run out five balls in the same over looking for a non-existent single.

And captain Asghar Stanikzai perished two balls later in the following over from Brathwaite when he tugged a short ball to Lendl Simmons running around from mid-wicket to mid-on, after clearing the ropes at mid-wicket with the previous delivery.

Three more wickets fell for 14 runs in the space of 18 balls to leave Afghanistan in danger of their lowest-ever T20 total at 55 for eight in the 11th over.

But top-scorer Karim Janat struck a four and two sixes in a 15-ball 20, putting on 30 off 10 balls for the ninth wicket with Dawlat Zadran (9).

The charge, however, came a little too late and though the 12th over from Brathwaite leaked 18 runs, the required run rate remained onerous at 13 and in the end proved overwhelming.

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