Afghanistan v West Indies, World T20, Nagpur March 27, 2016

Afghanistan upset table-toppers WI


Afghanistan 123 for 7 (Najibullah 48*, Badree 3-14) beat West Indies 117 for 8 (Bravo 28, Rashid 2-26) by six runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Chappell: Afghanistan showed WI's weakness against leg spin

Afghanistan kissed the World T20 goodbye by beating table-toppers West Indies by six runs in a low-scoring thriller. Asghar Stanikzai had shown his hand when he said they would use spin to restrict West Indies' big hitters on the eve of the match. Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan backed up their captain's confidence with figures of 2 for 26 each and kept West Indies to 117 in their chase of 124.

West Indies finished as the No. 1 team in Group 1 and will take on either India or Australia in the semi-final, but they will go to Mumbai with a sobering defeat. They became Afghanistan's second Full Member scalp in the tournament, after Zimbabwe, and the match was another strong reminder that cricket needed to be more inclusive.

West Indies required 40 runs from the last five overs, but Rashid had Denesh Ramdin stumped at the end of the 16th to tip the game off balance. Then it was Afghanistan who had to deal with a blow as fast bowler Hamid Hassan was pulled out of the attack. He was deemed to have bowled a second hip-high full toss by the square leg umpire, but Andre Russell, the batsman who had been struck by that ball, was rubbing his body below the waist.

Gulbadin Naib finished the over with two dot balls and in the next one, Russell was run out. West Indies needed 25 runs from 12 balls when Carlos Brathwaite thumped Naib for a six over long-off but a ball later, Darren Sammy was caught at deep cover. Brathwaite freed his arms again and found another six over midwicket and wisely nudged the last ball of the 19th over for a single to retain strike. At the time, West Indies needed 10 runs off six balls.

Nabi began the final over with two dots before Najibullah Zadran, who got them to a competitive score with his unbeaten 48, ran about 20 yards to his left from deep midwicket to complete a superb diving catch to get rid of Brathwaite, West Indies' last dangerman. With the equation demanding 10 runs off three balls, Andre Fletcher, who left the field at the start of seventh over with a tweaked hamstring, came out again and could only hobble across for three singles as Afghanistan completed a historic win.

West Indies had, however, begun the chase on the right note. Johnson Charles blasted Mohammad Nabi for two massive sixes in the second over. But Evin Lewis, on T20I debut, was tied down and dismissed by Amir Hamza, when the batsman slogged one down Rashid's throat at deep midwicket.

Fletcher struck Hamid and Hamza for fours through cover but Charles, on 22, was beaten by Hamid's pace and chopped the ball onto his stumps. That's when West Indies' troubles began. First Fletcher left the ground with what looked like a hamstring strain and a ball later Rashid removed Samuels with a big-spinning googly.

Ramdin and Dwayne Bravo added 41 runs for the fourth wicket, and seemed set to produce the one partnership a chasing team needs in the face of a low total. They took plenty of singles and Bravo crashed the legspinners Samiullah Shenwari and Rashid for a pulled four and six each in the 10th and 13th overs. It was Nabi again who brought Afghanistan back, trapping Bravo lbw in the 14th over, and took them home from there. For a spinner to bowl the last over, with only nine runs to defend, it was a spectacular effort.

Things hadn't looked particularly promising for Afghanistan when they batted. Samuel Badree and West Indies had them at 56 for 5 in the 12th over, but Najibullah persevered. Given a promotion to No. 6, he was unbeaten on 48 off 40 balls with five boundaries that included a six over long-on. His last two fours, in the final over, came via a switch hit and a crash through the covers.

Najibullah added 34 runs for the sixth wicket with Nabi, who was unlucky to be caught by Marlon Samuels at mid-off after a rebound from Sammy at cover. That the ball even carried that far indicated how hard Nabi had hit his drive.

Such scrapping was made necessary by Badree's skillful spell. The legspinner, who took 3 for 14 off his four overs, bamboozled Usman Ghani with a googly, kept Mohammad Shahzad quiet and then dismissed him when the release shot - a big hoick down the ground - was taken by mid-off. Shahzad finished as second-highest scorer behind Tamim Iqbal and by the end of the night, he had even more to celebrate.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • RYAN on March 30, 2016, 9:07 GMT

    Are you really The World Champion if you lose a match or two on the way to winning a final ? I know it is a pipe dream but I think that a world champion should play unbeaten throughout a championship tournament (WI did it in winning the first two ODI tournaments and Australia did it as well). All WI has done is give Afghanistan bragging rights that they have a 100% unbeaten record against the T20 champs if Wi go on to win the final. I remember when India won their first ODI championship in 1983. In subsequent years they were badly trounced ( I think 4-1 and 7-1) by England and WI at HOME!!! World champions indeed!!! My point is that the winner of this tournament is just that - THE WINNER OF A TOURNAMENT!!! The title of World Champs should be decided by more than just a 30 day contest.

  • Manesh on March 29, 2016, 10:36 GMT

    Manoj Prabhakar is the bowling coach of Afganistan?

  • Zahirshah Haidari on March 29, 2016, 7:57 GMT

    this defeat was a red alert for WI, and I think it would prove useful for them, they will not repeat the mistake they did against Afghanistan.

  • Dennis on March 29, 2016, 1:16 GMT

    As a WI fan I am happy for Afghanistan beating the WI . These people went thru many wars with hardship and having a sport as cricket bringing smiles to the Afghanistan people with such happiness, very rewarding. Before the game I said to friends the WI will not beat Afghanistan and so be it . Afghanistan had a very good spin attack and T20 is all about spin bowling. Fast bowling has no place in T20 and that is the reason why Australia used fast bowlers and lost against India. The WI need to drop Charles open with Gayle and Fletcher, drop Marlon Samuels and bring in Evin Lewis he bats spin bowling very good .Since Fletcher had a hammy it may not be a good idea to drop Ramdeen and allow Fletcher to keep wicket he can reinjured his hammy and may lose him in the batting. The selectors has to find a way to get Jason Holder on the team.

  • Sparsha on March 28, 2016, 19:04 GMT

    Bangladesh-West Indies-Afghanistan tri-series inwill be good to watch..What say ICC?

  • Jahid on March 28, 2016, 17:18 GMT

    Some one Kill Me!!BD is now number 4 team in the world and ahead of india.After 30 april overnight annual icc update ODI team Ranking will be-1.Aus 2.NZ 3.SA 4.BD 23 match 2525 point equal 110 rating point 5.IND 38 match 4150 point equal 109 rating point 6.ENG 7.SRI 8.PAK 9.Wi 10.AFG 11.Zim.Tow of Big three lower ranked than BD.Icc should give BD test status to afganistan.Happy!

  • Justanother Human on March 28, 2016, 16:45 GMT

    good to see Afghanistan players giving the top teams a run for their money. hope they continue like this and start winning trophies. ICC should make AFG permanent members and promote cricket there so that they become a good team.Looking forward for India ,Afghanistan matches !! and good luck

  •   Cassius Mavryk Sounds Redhead on March 28, 2016, 15:10 GMT

    This was actually a good loss for the west indies. They can come down now from their high and go back to being focused on being dominant again. This was the match they had to lose. Always good to get your first loss out of the way and best it was now that in the semis.

  • Gaurav on March 28, 2016, 14:40 GMT

    I am sure Afghanistan going to become next asian giant within next 5-10 years , congratulations for amazing win against might wi, better luck next time - love from INDIA

  • Waheed on March 28, 2016, 11:42 GMT

    It is too early to credit Inzi for his coaching because nothing has been improved in batting for Afghanistan and Inzi is a batting coach. He is learning himself. Our bowling were magnificent throughout the tournment and huge credit goes to Manoj Prabhakar for his tireless work with bowlers. Afghanistan is having fighting spirit and passion from the start and we came close against big teams before as well but we need more experience. Overall I am proud of my players and I hope Inzi become an effective coach for us for the future because he has to do a lot to teach batsmen how to handle different situations of the game. At the moment the team is same as before

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