West Indies reaches 68-2 after Afghanistan falls for 187
LUCKNOW, India (AP) — West Indies offspinner Rahkeem Cornwall took a career-best 7-75 in only his second test match to help bowl out Afghanistan for 187 on a spinners’-dominated first day of the one-off test on Wednesday.
The stocky 26-year-old Cornwall engineered Afghanistan’s top-order collapse by taking five wickets during his lengthy first spell of 21 overs. He snared two more wickets after a brief break which somewhat bailed out captain Jason Holder’s decision to bowl first on a turning wicket in this northern Indian city.
West Indies also had early trouble and reached 68-2 at stumps with both wickets falling to Afghanistan spinners. West Indies still trails by 119 runs with John Campbell 30 not out while Shamarh Brooks was unbeaten on 19.
Out-of-form opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite (11) fell lbw to debutant left-arm spinner Amir Hamza and Shai Hope (7) got a thick edge to slip off legspinner Rashid Khan’s sharp delivery as spinners took 10 of the 12 wickets on the first day.
Afghanistan batsmen had early success against seamer Kemar Roach, who didn’t hit the right lengths in hazy conditions.
But Cornwall struck a crucial blow just before lunch when he had Ihsanullah (24) caught in the lone slip as Afghanistan slumped to 90-3 after moving comfortably to 84-1.
Afghanistan slid further to 111-7 with Cornwall running through the middle order and taking a low ankle-height catch in the slip to dismiss Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan (1).
Zazai and Hamza added 54 runs for the eighth-wicket stand before Cornwall further dented Afghanistan by taking the wicket of Zazai, who didn’t offer a shot to a ball that didn’t spin enough.
Holder was rewarded for his disciplined 17 overs when he had Hamza edged to the wicketkeeper and finished with 2-22 as Cornwall wrapped up the innings by having Yamin Ahmadzai (18) caught at the long off boundary.
Earlier, Cornwall made most of the conditions to have Ibrahim Zadran (17) caught close to the wicket in his third over as the wicket started to look favorable for spinners.
Zadran was shaping up well with two cover-driven boundaries before he went for an extravagant sweep shot against Cornwall and Holder snapped a brilliant one-handed diving catch to his left in the leg slip.
Cornwall could have had the wicket of Javed Ahmadi (39), but wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich couldn’t hold onto a sharp leg-side catch off the batsman’s gloves.
Afghanistan is chasing a rare record by becoming the first nation to have won three of its first four test matches. It lost against India inside two days in its inaugural test, but then went on to beat Ireland and Bangladesh in its next two tests.
Afghanistan awarded a test debut to batsman Nasir Jamal, who fell for four runs to Cornwall, and surprisingly left out allrounder Karim Janat, who played a vital role in Afghanistan’s win in the Twenty20 series against West indies.