Lucknow, Nov 15 : After inflicting a clean sweep upon Afghanistan, West Indies looks to sustain their new found momentum as they face the hosts in the second T20I here at Ekana International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Afghanistan desperately need to find some inspiration, especially in the batting department, if they are to keep West Indies from winning the T20I series with a game to spare.
Afghanistan struggled to put on partnerships throughout the ODI series, and that remained the theme during the first game in the shortest format too. They will want the more established players, such as Asghar Afghan, Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi to lead the way in that front.
West Indies will be keen to close out the series without giving Afghanistan a sniff. Their batsmen have done a great job against the high-quality Afghanistan spinners this entire tour. But as much as they will be keen to win the series, it is also a test for newcomers to the side, such as Brandon King and Hayden Walsh. How they perform in the next game and the one after that will be of particular importance, given that the management will be thinking of candidates for next year's ICC Men's T20 World Cup.
Evin Lewis looked in red-hot form as he smacked four fours and six sixes in his 41-ball 68. The Afghanistan bowlers did well enough to keep making breakthroughs at the other end, but captain Kieron Pollard finished the innings off with a responsible 22-ball 32 not out, featuring two fours and a six, to take West Indies to 164/5.
The West Indies fast bowlers then reduced Afghanistan to 7/2 inside three overs. Kesrick Williams, with his crafty variations, saw to it that Afghanistan were not able to claw their way back in. He finished with 3/17 from his four overs to restrict Afghanistan to 134/9.
Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan said, "We have plans about what kind of team we want to build in the next five years, so we are giving chances to youngsters.
Hopefully, we develop a strong team in time for the Asia Cup and the World Cup."
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said, "The partnership between Lewis and Hetmyer set the match up. This isn't one of the easiest wickets to bat on. The balls were coming slow off the wicket. It's when you have to play smart cricket and manoeuvre the fielder." (UNI)