About the Match
Afghanistan came into the first match with a lot of bluster but fell apart in the face of a clinical West Indian performance. With two matches in two days, there is no time for any respite. Can Afghanistan pick itself up and try to level the series or will the West Indies stroll home once again?
The first match of the T20 series saw the West Indies play like world champions against a team that can be quite tricky to face up against. All the facets of the game were performed admirably by the home team. The bowling was led by Sunil Narine and Carlos Braithwaite, while everyone got starts chasing down a small total.
If there were a few disappointments for the West Indies, they would be the fact that they let Afghanistan off the hook after having them 58 for 8 and that their batsmen did not show the ruthlessness to finish off the chase after getting in.
These are however minor gripes and the West Indies would love to put in another similar performance to win the series. We think that there will be no change to the playing eleven unless one of the players has picked up an injury.
It will be interesting to see what kind of approach the West Indies take if they bat first, since aiming for too high a score in a slightly two-paced pitch can be disastrous.
There is no doubt that Afghanistan came into this match with excellent intentions. They wanted to dominate and play their shots but showed their inexperience as they struggled to adapt to the changing situation and eventually dug themselves into a hole from which they could not come out.
The tourists will need to adapt and do so quickly. The pitch they played on was not one where 200 was needed and even a target of 145-155 could have been difficult to chase down. They need to ensure that the batsmen apply themselves enough to get a decent total on the board after which bowlers like Rashid Khan can come in and do the damage.
The team selection also may need to be tinkered with as the strategy of going in with only one frontline pacer seems a little flawed. Amar Hamza did not trouble the batsmen while Mohammad Nabi was also largely non-threatening.
Afghanistan has got used to dominating teams like Ireland of past which are just not at the same level as the West Indies. The boys from the Carribean may not be feared anymore but the current world champions in T20 cricket are not to be taken lightly.
Pitch and Conditions
Two days, two matches on a square that looked tired to begin with. The pitch for the first match was low and slow with run-scoring being difficult. We expect the same for this one. The weather forecast has predicted a small amount of rain in the area but as we have seen in the past, weather predictions in these island nations can change by the hour.
We are backing the West Indies to win this game and wrap up the T20 series. West Indies to win