Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz slammed a strokeful 52-ball 79 as Afghanistan claimed the three-match T20I series 2-1 with a comprehensive 29-run win over the West Indies in the third game in Lucknow on Sunday. Batting first after winning the toss, Afghanistan posted a competitive 156 for 8, courtesy Gurbaz’s superb innings. Asghar Afghan (24 off 20), Najibullah Zadran (14 off 14) and Mohammad Nabi (15 off 7) were the other contributors.
Shai Hope, who was called in as cover for the injured Dinesh Ramdin, then made a 46 ball off 52 but he didn’t get enough support from the other end as Afghanistan restricted West Indies to 127 for 7 to complete the win. Chasing 157 to win, West Indies lost Lendl Simmons (7) and Brandon King (1) early to be reduced to 16 for two. Evin Lewis (24) was then dismissed LBW by Karim Janat (24).
Hope and Shimron Hetmyer (11) tried to steady the innings, adding 38 but the latter was removed by Rashid Khan in the 13th over. Skipper Pollard then joined Hope as the duo brought up the team hundred in the 16th over but they failed to push the score.
Hope completed his fifty in the 17th over but Pollard was holed out in the next over as WI lost their fifth wicket. The equation came down to 39 off 12 balls, which proved too much for the West Indies lower-order following the dismissal of Hope in the 19th over.
Earlier, Gurbaz slammed six fours and five sixes in his 52-ball knock to almost single-handedly take Afghanistan to a good score. For West Indies, Sheldon Cottrell (2/29), Kesrick Williams (2/31) and Keemo Paul (2/26) snapped two wickets each, while Kieron Pollard took one.