Openers Hazratullah Zazai and Mohammad Shahzad hit aggressive fifties, while Andre Russell returned to action
Afghanistan 189 for 5 (Zazai 56, Shahzad 54, McCoy 2-43) beat West Indies 133 for 5 (Chase 54*, Pooran 35, Nabi 3-2) by 56 runs
The Afghanistan batters were helped by some wayward bowling by West Indies, with the innings having seven wides and four no-balls, along with a smattering of hittable deliveries. New-ball bowlers Obed McCoy and Oshane Thomas – who are likely to compete for one spot in the playing XI – were particularly loose, giving up 71 runs in the six overs they bowled. The West Indies’ fielding was also lacklustre, with overthrows, catches put down and moments where they didn’t commit fully to chasing or stopping the ball – perhaps mindful of any injury possibilities.
Afghanistan’s momentum slowed only after both openers had gone, with West Indies slowing things up a bit through spin. However, they still built a formidable total.
West Indies’ chase was in early trouble with Nabi establishing a stranglehold over the run rate. He bowled all his overs at a stretch, and when he was done, West Indies were 27 for 3 in seven overs.
Nicholas Pooran rode his luck early on via a dropped chance and some edges, but got the run rate moving for West Indies. However, with the required rate having ballooned early on to more than two runs a ball, West Indies needed all their big-hitters to come off, and that didn’t happen.
However, with the big-hitters who got some time in the middle not really coming off, that was never going to be enough.