Lucknow, West Indies completed a comprehensive nine-wicket victory in the one-off Test against Afghanistan here on Friday. Rahkeem Cornwall was the star of the show finishing with match figures of 10/121.
It took West Indies only an hour to wrap up the Test on the third day as they bowled out Afghanistan – who resumed at 109/7 – for 120 in their second innings. Both Jason Holder and Rahkeem Cornwall were excellent with the ball, giving the Afghan batsmen no room to score. While Holder's areas were impeccable, Cornwall impressed with his spin, bowling some unplayable deliveries and foxing the home team's batsmen.
It was the West Indies captain, who took the final three wickets and wrapped up Afghanistan's innings. The first to go was Rashid Khan, who edged a delivery outside off as Shane Dowrich held onto a juggling catch, diving to his right. He was followed by Yamin Ahmadzai, who played down the wrong line and ended up losing his off stump. Holder then picked up his third wicket of the innings, removing Afsar Zazai as he tamely edged one to the keeper, an ICC report said. The Afghan resistance lasted for only 7.1 overs as they added just 11 runs to their overnight total, setting the visitors a meagre target of 31 to win.
West Indies openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell struck a flurry of boundaries in the first couple of overs to rapidly race towards their small target. They suffered a small hiccup as Hamza Hotak picked up his sixth wicket of the game, luring Brathwaite to play on his front foot as the ball kissed his outside edge and went through to the keeper. But, Campbell stuck to the script and hit the winning runs with West Indies chasing down the total in less than seven overs.
While West Indies laid the finishing touches on the final day, the foundations for the win had been laid earlier. Holder's decision to bowl first had raised some eyebrows but it worked as they bowled out Afghanistan on the first day itself for just 187. Cornwall was the undisputed king of the day as he picked up 7/75, running through the Afghanistan top and middle order.
In reply, West Indies stuttered in the beginning but were stabilised by Campbell and Sharmarh Brooks, who put on a half-century stand for the third wicket. Campbell fell shortly after raising his maiden Test fifty but Brooks went on to score his maiden Test hundred to help West Indies take a 90-run lead. For Afghanistan, it was debutant Hamza Hotak, who starred with the ball, taking a five-wicket haul.
West Indies continued their dominance with the ball in the second innings. Roston Chase and Cornwall picked up three wickets each to derail Afghanistan's batting. Javed Ahmadi's fighting 62 was not enough as the home team finished the second day on 109/7 with only a 19-run lead.