Led by superb batting from Nicholas Pooran and incisive bowling from Sheldon Cottrell, West Indies made it back-to-back wins over Afghanistan to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match One-Day International series on Saturday night.
The left-handed Pooran made a classy 67 – with seven blistering boundaries and three powerful sixes – which completely changed the tempo of the innings. West Indies made challenging 247-8 off their 50 overs on a good pitch at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.
In the second half of the match, left-arm pacer Cottrell had the best figures of 9-0-29-3 as which triggered a collapse as Afghanistan slipped from 177-5 to be bowled out for 200 off 45.4 overs. West Indies won by 47 runs to follow-up their victory by seven wickets on Wednesday.
Cottrell was well supported by the spinners – Roston Chase with 3-30 off his 10 overs to and leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr had 3-36 in his second appearance for West Indies. While in the field, West Indies had to combat a swarm of flies and other insects which had invaded the playing area.
Put into bat, West Indies posted got an opening stand of 98 from Evin Lewis (54) and Shai Hope (43). Shimron Hetmyer then kept the inning clicking with 34 off 43 balls. Pooran then stepped into overdrive and added 50 for the seventh wicket with Romario Shepherd (6), who offered very good support.
This victory West Indies their first series win since 2014 when they beat Bangladesh in the Caribbean. Skipper Kieron Pollard said it was very pleasing to win the series and they will look to make it 3-0 when they play the final match in a few days.
“We came here with the firm belief that once we played well we would win. Today was a good example of how we wanted to go about our business and it feels great to get a series win – first in five years,” Pollard said after the match. “The batting conditions were good, the wicket was a bit dry. They played four spinners because of it. In the middle order we faltered a bit after the opening stand but can’t fault the boys. Pooran did very well, and good to see Hetmyer get some runs. We just want to soak in the feeling of winning a series. We are going to enjoy the series win, but then it’s back to business come day after.”
What’s Next: The two teams will meet again on Monday for the third and final ODI at the same venue. First ball 2pm (4:30am Eastern Caribbean/3:30am Jamaica).
Where to watch: The series is available on Flow Sports in the West Indies