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, on Thursday. Pooran (58 off 43 balls) and Holder (45 off 34 balls) added 105 runs in 71 balls to take the total past 300-run mark.
This was after Shai Hope (77 off 92 balls) and Evin Lewis (58 off 78 balls) 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 in 10 overs), Mohammed Nabi (1/56 in 10 overs) and Rashid Khan (1/52 in 10 overs) were once again steady as the Caribbean batsmen couldn’t push the run-rate up during middle overs.
Hope and Lewis both hit six fours and two sixes each as they built a foundation after Chris Gayle’s early dismissal. 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.
Pooran, after his hundred in a lost cause against Sri Lanka, was once again in his elements, reaching his half-century off only 40 balls. His flat-batted six off Zadran was a delight to watch.
His skipper wasn’t far behind as he muscled the bowlers over the ropes with his big strides.
Pooran hit six fours and a six while Holder had four maximums apart from a boundary to his credit.