West Indies (WI) produced a winning-start to their tour of India as they defeated Afghanistan by seven-wickets in the first One Day International (ODI) which concluded in Lucknow, India, minutes ago.
Batting first, Afghanistan was dismissed for 194 in 45.2 overs with Rahmat Shah (61) and Ikram Alikhil (58) top scoring.
WI Pacer, Jason Holder, was the pick of the bowlers as he bagged 2/21, while RostonChase captured 2/31 and Romario Shepherd (2/32).
In reply, WI bounced back from a shaky start and rallied to a victorious 197/3 in 46.3 overs with Chase (94) top scoring and ably-assisted by Shai Hope (77). For Afghanistan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman topped the bowling grabbing 2/33.
This triumph also serves as the first victory for Kieron Pollard as captain of the WI team and Phillip Simmons’ recent appointment as coach.
Following the match, Pollard acknowledged his team’s all-round performance and heaped high praise on former regional captain, Holder, for his contribution with the ball.
“Losing early wickets and not batting 50 overs is something that has been haunting us for a long time.
Two guys showed the way - Hope and Chase. Both of them are class batsmen, kudos to them for batting well and getting us victory.
We've been talking about how we want to play cricket. Express ourselves, who better than Jason Holder, who continues to prove he wants to be the number one (in this) format. Supported well by Sheldon (Cottrell).
Then Shepherd and Hayden Walsh were superb. We want to play every game with the same intensity.”Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan credited the West Indian performance but admitted that his team were unable to capitalise on their chances.
“(It) looked like a 240-250 wicket. Had we bowled or fielded well, we could've defended it. Ikram and Rahmat gave us a few opportunities, but we didn't capitalise. Credit to them. Every match is a lesson and we've to learn from it.
We'll take the positives from here, looking to improve from here”.The second ODI between the two teams bowls off on Saturday.