Karim Janat five-for levels series for Afghanistan
LUCKNOW (92 News) – West Indies fell well short of their target of 148 as Afghanistan’s Karim Janat took 5/11 to rip through their middle order in the second T20I.
Afghanistan got off to a flying start after electing to bat first, with Hazrutullah Zazai taking 16 runs from Jason Holder’s opening over, including a first-ball six clubbed over deep square leg. Sheldon Cottrell began strongly at the other end though, just five runs coming from his first over before being top-edged over the wicket-keeper three balls in a row in his next.
The following over, delivered by Kesrick Williams (3/23), brought the downfall of both Afghanistani openers. Rahmanullah (15) was well caught by Kieron Pollard, catching a skier over his shoulder, and Hazratullah (26) could only find point with his attempted drive the following ball.
Holder (2/23) found significantly more success in his second spell, with his third and fourth overs going for a single run apiece as well as accounting for Asghar Afghan (8) and Janat (26). Keemo Paul (2/28), in for the injured Fabian Allen, claimed the next pair of wickets deceiving both Ibrahim Zadran (11) and Mohammad Nabi (3) with changes of pace, and with four overs left Afghanistan were well below a competitive total at 104/6. But Gulbadin Naib and Najilbullah Zadran managed to lift their side to close on 147/7, the former dismissed in the final over for 24 and the latter unbeaten on 20.
West Indies’ reply was immediately stifled by some tight bowling, and 20-year-old seamer Naveen-ul-Haq sent Brandon King (12) on his way with an off-cutter to leave them 17/1 in the fourth over. That score had barely been doubled when Janat’s introduction sparked a huge collapse. Shimron Hetmyer (11), Evin Lewis (14), Sherfane Rutherford (6), Kieron Pollard (7), and Keemo Paul (11) all fell victim to the seamer as he finished with extraordinary figures of 5/11, Afghanistan’s second-best T20I figures behind only Rashid Khan’s 5/3 against Ireland in 2017.
From that point on the challenge always looked too great for the visitors, and a final over by Gulbadin Naib (1/22) which went for only seven runs confirmed a final margin of 41 runs. The teams meet again for the deciding match tomorrow at the same venue.–ICC