About the Match
The West Indies managed to survive another Rashid Khan assault and level the ODI series. The third ODI will be the ‘final’ or decider of this series and promises to be an exciting encounter between two teams that do not have much separating them.
The hosts would be very glad to have escaped the ignominy of losing a home series to Afghanistan 3-0, however, the chances of them losing 2-1 are still significant. Chasing 136 in 50 overs against a team that is just finding its place in international cricket should not be a big ask, however such is the current state of West Indian cricket that even that was not a sure thing.
The West Indian batsmen lost 6 wickets and took almost 40 overs to reach their target. Rashid Khan picked up 3 wickets for 26 runs in his 10 overs in the process. The only thing that helped the West Indians was the fact that they did not have to chase too many runs and so could afford to play out Rashid Khan.
Evan Lewis started off sprightly before getting out and Shai Hope was there at the end making sure the West Indies got over the line but the story could have been very different had Afghanistan managed to reach a total of close to 200.
Luckily, for the West Indies, a combination of good aggressive bowling and poor batting from the West Indies prevented that from happening.
The hosts stuck to their plan of short pitched bowling and this time it came good as only Gulabdin Naib showed any form of resistance. Gabriel, Holder, Nurse, and Joseph all took 2 wickets each with Gabriel being the pick of the bowlers.
Afghanistan has an opportunity to make history once more. It would be a huge achievement for them to be able to beat the West Indies at home in their first attempt, something that is sure to motivate them when the take the field for the 3rd
For that to happen though Afghanistan will have to sort out their batting. The 2nd
ODI saw all of their batsmen try to play rash shots and not show the discipline required against some testing fast bowling.
Javed Ahmadi, the hero from the first match was runout unluckily and most other batsmen seemed to have the short ball at the back of their mind when they came to the crease. Noor Ali Zadran, Samiullah Shenwari, and Asghar Stanikzai have all had bad series and need to score some runs in the third ODI.
The Afghan team must realize that they do not need to score a huge amount of runs but only around 220 to have a great chance of winning the game.
Their bowling, led by Rashid Khan, seems to have the measure of the West Indian batsman and even put up a fight defending 135. We think a change of approach and tactics is all that Afghanistan needs to win the third match.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at the Darren Sammy Stadium seems to be getting lower and slower with every passing match. There is nothing to suggest that anything else will be offered up for the third ODI. A few showers are predicted, however, nothing that should threaten the game.
We have a feeling that Afghanistan will raise their game to make history and condemn the West Indies to a series defeat.
Back the upset in the one. Afghanistan to win.
Winner: Afghanistan, 3.35 @ Bet on Afghanistan now