Pooran’s 98, McCoy’s 3 Wickets Lead Windies to 104-Run Win Over Afghanistan


In a stunning display of cricketing prowess, Nicholas Pooran’s near-century and Obed McCoy’s impressive bowling propelled the West Indies to a decisive 104-run victory against Afghanistan. This match, held at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, marked the culmination of the Group stage of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, solidifying West Indies’ unbeaten run and top position in Group C.

Winning the toss and opting to bat, the West Indies quickly set the tone with an explosive start. Despite losing Brandon King early for 7 runs off 6 balls, the hosts remained unfazed. Johnson Charles and Nicholas Pooran then took center stage, building a formidable partnership. Charles contributed a brisk 43 off 27 balls, while Pooran launched a relentless assault on the Afghan bowlers.

Pooran’s innings was a masterclass in aggressive batting, particularly notable for the over against Azmatullah Omarzai where he scored 36 runs, a rare feat in T20 cricket. This over included two sixes and multiple boundary extras, showcasing Pooran’s dominance. His partnership with Charles reached 80 runs in just six overs, propelling the West Indies to 92/1 by the end of the Powerplay – the highest Powerplay score in Men’s T20 World Cup history.

As the innings progressed, Shai Hope’s quick 25 off 17 balls helped maintain the scoring momentum. Pooran reached his half-century in the 14th over, continuing to punish the Afghan bowlers. Despite falling just two runs short of a century, Pooran’s 98 off 49 balls was instrumental in setting a daunting total of 218/5, the highest first-innings score of the tournament.

Chasing a mammoth target of 219, Afghanistan faced an uphill battle from the outset. Their hopes were further dashed when opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz was dismissed for a duck in the first over. Gulbadin Naib and Ibrahim Zadran attempted to stabilize the innings, taking the score to 45/1 by the end of the Powerplay.

However, the Afghan batting lineup crumbled under pressure. Gudakesh Motie struck in the 7th over, initiating a collapse that saw Afghanistan reduced to 66/5 by the innings’ midpoint. Ibrahim Zadran was the only batsman to show some resistance, scoring 38 runs, but his efforts were in vain.

Obed McCoy, playing his debut T20 World Cup match, was exceptional. He took three crucial wickets, including those of Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi, further crippling the Afghan chase. Despite some late efforts from Azmatullah Omarzai and Karim Janat, who both hit sixes in a brief counterattack, Afghanistan was eventually bowled out for 114, suffering their first defeat of the tournament.

The West Indies’ emphatic victory, highlighted by Pooran’s 98 and McCoy’s three-wicket haul, not only showcased their strength but also sent a strong message to their competitors in the Super Eight stage. Afghanistan, despite their initial success in the tournament, will need to regroup and address their weaknesses as they prepare for their next challenge.

The match underscored the West Indies’ dominance and set the stage for an exciting continuation of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

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