West Indies faltered for the first time in five matches – going under to Afghanistan in the second T20 International on Saturday night at the Ekana Cricket Stadium. Asked to make 148 for victory, West Indies could only muster 106-8 off their 20 overs as the hosts secured victory by 41 runs to set-up a series decider.
It was the first defeat for the West Indies in an international contest on this on tour – they won the ODI series 3-0 – and this now leaves the series level 1-1 with the final match to be played at the same venue on Sunday night under lights.
Kesrick Williams again topped the bowling charts with 3-23 off his four overs, which followed up his equally impressive 3-17 in the first match last Thursday. Jason Holderwent for 16 runs in his first over, but rebounded to finish with 2-23 off four overs. Keemo Paul was also impressive with 2-28 after being called up to replace Fabian Allen,who was ruled out with a knee injury.
In the second half of the match, the star was Afghan seamer Karin Janat – who took career-best 5-11 off four overs – the best figures against West Indies in this format. Wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin top scored with 24 not out – the only West Indies batsman to reach more than 20.
Captain Kieron Pollard promised his team will rebound in the final contest on Sunday night.
“At the halfway stage, we were happy with 147. Their batsmen came hard at us, but we came back well, especially Kesrick. We cannot fault the bowlers. We did not get a good start in the powerplay, and we lost wickets every time we were trying to be aggressive,”
“We just have 24 hours to wrong the rights, and hopefully we come back and do those things right tomorrow … 1-1 is a virtual final tomorrow, and you would want to see how the guys react tomorrow. Happy times for us in terms of how we have played through this series. We need to have conversations on what to improve on for tomorrow.”
What’s Next: The two teams will meet in the third and final T20 International at the same venue on Sunday night. First ball is 7pm (9:30am Eastern Caribbean Time/8:30am Jamaica Time)
Where to watch: The upcoming series is available on Flow Sports in the West Indies.