AFG vs WI 2019, 1st ODI: Shai Hope and Roston Chase guide Windies to a comfortable win in Lucknow
West Indies kicked off their series against Afghanistan with a resounding victory at the Ekana International Stadium in Lucknow. Chasing a modest target of 195 runs in 50 overs, the West Indian's sealed the match with 7 wickets in hand and 3.3 overs to spare. Roston Chase received the Man of the Match award for his career-best knock of 94 runs and 2/31 in the first innings.
Earlier in the day, West Indies had won the toss and the new captain, Kieron Pollard, had no hesitation in electing to bowl first. Afghanistan, who have adopted Lucknow as their new home venue, lost both their openers Hazratullah Zazai (9) and Javed Ahmadi (5) inside the first six overs. Then, Rahmat Shah (61) and Ikram Ali Khil (58) scored half-centuries and steadied the Afghan innings.
Both the batsmen stitched a 111-run partnership before Evin Lewis ran Khil out. The wicket-keeper batsman had struck six fours and a maximum in his 62-ball knock and soon, his partner Rahmat followed him to the pavilion. West Indies gained momentum after those two dismissals as they did not allow the Afghans to return into the contest.
The team's former captain, Asghar Afghan (35), tried his best to take the team's score near 210-220 but a mini-collapse and some fine bowling performances from Jason Holder (2/21), Romario Shepherd (2/32) and Roston Chase ensured that the Blue Tigers lose all their wickets on the score of 194.
Defending a target of 195, Afghanistan started off the second innings on a positive note as Mujeeb-ur-Rahman (2/33) and Naveen-ul-Haq (1/30) removed Evin Lewis (7) and Shimron Hetmyer (3) early.
However, Shai Hope (77*) and Chase took over the charge from there as their 163-run partnership for the 3rd wicket drove West Indies home. Though the latter lost his wicket in the final moments of the run chase, Hope and Nicholas Pooran (8*) helped West Indies win the match by 7 wickets.
With this clinical performance, Pollard's men have taken a 1-0 lead in this 3-match series.