West Indies slumped to a series defeat against minnows Afghanistan, after stifling the regional side’s powerful batting line up to pull off a shocking 29-run victory in the final Twenty20 International of the three-match series over the weekend.
Going into the decisive contest at the Atal Bihari Vajapeee International Stadium in India with the series 1-1, West Indies found themselves outplayed for the second time in two days as the hosts completed a remarkable turnaround after losing the opening game by 30 runs.
In pursuit of a challenging total of 157, West Indies found themselves bogged down again and only Shai Hope (52), a late injury replacement for Denesh Ramdin, managed to defy the Afghan attack with three fours and a six.
Opener Evin Lewis made 24 from 23 balls but no other batsman passed 11 as the West Indies paid the price for a slow start and losing wickets at critical moments during the run chase.
Naveen-ul-Haq a 20-year-old fast bowler who was handed the new ball undermined the innings with 3 for 24 and also got the key wicket of captain Kieron Pollard for 11 in the 18th over, to snuff out the regional team last realistic hope of victory. The result came just 24 hours following their 41-run loss at the same venue and marked their fourth defeat to Afghanistan in seven Twenty20s, but their first-ever series defeat.
For the World Twenty20 Champions, the series defeat was their third straight following results against England and India earlier this year and was their 17th loss in 21 Twenty20 games in the last 20 months.
The day before, fast bowler Karim Janat ripped through the West Indies batting with figures of 5 for 11 from four overs. The regional team crashed to 108 for eight wickets. Afghanistan made 147 in their first turn at the crease. West Indies will now play a one-off Test against the Afghans starting at the end of this month.