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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: West Indies end campaign with 23 run win vs Afghanistan

Pakistan takes on Bangladesh in their final league game at Lord's today at 3 pm; India takes on Sri Lanka tomorrow at 3 pm IST at Headingley and Australia will face South Africa at Old Trafford Cricket Ground at 6 pm

Prime News, International Sport, Cricket, Leeds (England), July 5:- West Indies beat Afghanistan by 23 runs in their final group match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at Headingley here on Thursday to secure their second win of a disappointing tournament. Afghanistan never won a match in the tournament as well.

In the mammoth chase, Afghanistan lost their skipper Gulbadin Naib in the second over. However, Rahmat Shah (62) and Ikram Ali Khil (86) played with composure to a build 133-run stand and bail Afghanistan out of a pressure situation and to keep Afghanistan’s hope of their first victory in the tournament alive.

Rahmat Shah brought up his maiden World Cup fifty off 57 balls, while Ikram Ali became the youngest to get an above 80 score in the history of World Cup to keep Afghanistan’s chase on track.

The game took a turn when West Indies claimed three wickets in 14 balls to create worries for Afghanistan. With his occasional off spin, Chris Gayle took the key wicket of Ikram Ali Khil, trapping himLBW for 86. Najibullah Zadran (31) was run out two balls later and Mohammad Nabi (2) then holed out in the deep off Kemar Roach.

Kemar Roach then picked his third wicket after dismissing Samiullah Shinwari for 6. As Afghanistan kept losing wickets, Asghar Afghan spent some time at the crease to keep Afghanistan alive in the chase but Jason Holder took a brilliant catch at the boundary rope to get rid of him for 40 off Carlos Brathwaite. Brathwaite then also sent back Rashid Khan (9) and Dawlat Zadran (1) to get four wickets.

Carlos Brathwaite (4-63) and Roach (3-37) wrecked their middle and lower order as Afghanistan, were all out for 288 in exactly 50 overs, finished their campaign with nine defeats in as many matches to finish bottom of the standings, one place below West Indies.

Earlier, young Nicholas Pooran and skipper Jason Holder provided the final flourish with a century plus stand as West Indies scored a respectable 311 for six in an inconsequential World Cup league stage encounter.

Pooran (58) and Holder (45) added 105 runs in 71 balls to take the total past 300-run mark. This was after Shai Hope (77) and Evin Lewis (58) set the platform with an 88-run second wicket partnership.

For Afghanistan, seamer Dawlat Zadran was the most successful bowler but was hammered during the last few overs. He ended with figures of 2 for 73. Afghan spin troika of Mujeeb ur Rahman (0/52), Mohammed Nabi (1/56) and Rashid Khan (1/52) were once again steady as the Caribbean batsmen couldn’t push the run-rate up during middle overs.

Shimron Hetmyer (39) also got a start but was out after being set. He added 65 runs with Hope for the third wicket. Hope and Hetmyer were out within 20 runs off each other and West Indies weren’t exactly comfortable at 192 for 4 in the 38th over. But it was Pooran and Holder, who attacked the bowling during the last 10 overs.

Pakistan to face Bangladesh today

Meanwhile, Pakistan will take on Bangladesh in their final league game at Lord’s today at 3 pm Indian Standard Time.

Pakistan would need a miracle to qualify for the semi-finals. After England’s win over New Zealand on Wednesday, Pakistan today needs to bat first and defeat Bangladesh by an outlandish margin of 316 runs. However, if Bangladesh bats first, Pakistan is out even before the game begins.

Pakistan currently sits fifth in the 10-team points table. Meanwhile, a win for Bangladesh will see them end the tournament in fifth place instead of Pakistan because of their superior net run-rate. The Tigers are already out of the semi-final race after their defeat to India on Tuesday.

Australia, India and England have already booked their places in the semi-finals. India will take on Sri Lanka tomorrow at 3 pm IST at Headingley and Australia will face South Africa at Old Trafford Cricket Ground at 6 pm.(Inputs: Agencies, NGB)



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