Gurbaz, Naveen hand Afghanistan series win
A terrific performance by Man of the Match Rahmanullah Gurbaz with the bat and Naveen ul Haq with the ball ensured Afghanistan win the Azizi Bank T20I Cup 2-1 as they beat West Indies by 29 runs in the Final of the three-match series at Ekana Stadium Lucknow.
After Hazratullah Zazai and Karim Janat lost their wickets early in the innings, Gurbaz took the lead and took the innings ahead as he completed his second half-century in T20Is. He was briefly well supported Asghar Afghan who scored 24 runs. Gurbaz eventually lost his wicket in the 17th over as his knock ended on 79 off just 52 balls that included 4 fours and 5 sixes. Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran also contributed with the bat scoring 15 and 14 runs respectively. Sheldon Cottrell, Keamu Paul and Kesric Williams took two wickets each for the Windies.
Chasing 157 to win, West Indies lost the wickets of Lendl Simmons and Brandon King early to Mujeeb ur Rahman and Naveen ul Haq respectively. Shai Hope top-scored with 52 runs for the Windies while Evin Lewis contributed 24 runs as well.
After they lost the wicket of Kieron Pollard, the rest of the Windies could not cope up with the rising required run rate and could manage 127/7 in their 20 overs losing the match by 29 runs and the series 2-1.
Naveen ul Haq , who was later awarded the stylish player of the match award, was the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan taking three wickets including the ones of Jason Holder and Pollard
Karim Janat was awarded Player of the Series award for his tremendous all-round performance taking 6 wickets including a five-wicket haul in the previous match.
The only Test between both teams is scheduled to be started at the same venue from 27th November to 1st December.