Kieron Pollard got his tenure as the West Indies ODI Captain off to a winning start as his side inflicted a 10th successive defeat in the format on Afghanistan with a seven-wicket victory in Lucknow, India yesterday.
Afghanistan lost each of their nine game at this summer’s Cricket World Cup in England and Wales, including a 23-run reverse against West Indies in their final game at Headingley.
West Indies made it back-to-back wins against Rashid Khan’s Men after dismissing their opponents for 194 in 45.2 overs and then reaching their target with 21 balls to spare.
Evin Lewis (7) and Shimron Hetmyer (3) were out early in the reply as West Indies fell to 25 for two but Roston Chase (94) and Shai Hope (77 n.o) put on 163 for the third wicket.
However, Chase was unable to complete a maiden ODI century, the Barbadian bowled by Mujeeb Ur Rahman as he looked to reach three figures with a six over deep mid-wicket with seven runs required.
Afghanistan were handily placed at 126 for two, with Rahmat Shah (61) and Ikram Ali Khil (58) - who also hit half centuries in the World Cup meeting with the Windies at Leeds in July - having put on 111 for the third wicket.
The Asian side collapsed, though, once Ikram was run out in bizarre fashion, having walked out of his crease to celebrate Rahmat’s fifty while the ball was still live.
Afghanistan lost four for 32 to slip to 158 for six and then after a 33-run stand between Asghar Afghan (35) and Gulbadin Naib (17), shipped their final four wickets for three runs.
Jason Holder (two for 21) - Pollard’s predecessor as captain - Chase (two for 31) and debutant Romario Shepherd (two for 32) each picked up two wickets.
Spinner Hayden Walsh Jr. also made his West Indies debut, having previously played ODI cricket for USA.
The three-match series continues at the same venue on Saturday and concludes, also in Lucknow, on Monday.