West Indies sweeps Afghanistan 3-0 in one-day series
LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Shai Hope’s unbeaten 109 anchored West Indies to a five-wicket victory over Afghanistan on Monday, giving Kieron Pollard a 3-0 sweep in his first one-day international series as captain.
Opening batsman Hope’s seventh ODI hundred included eight fours and three sixes and came off 145 balls as West Indies cruised to 253-5 in 48.4 overs. Roston Chase, who batted at No. 7, remained unbeaten on 42 off 32 deliveries.
Earlier, after being put in to bat, Afghanistan posted its highest total of the series — 249-7 — after half-centuries by former skipper Asghar Afghan (86) and Mohammad Nabi (50 not out).
“We’ve been waiting for this series win for a long time, so it felt good,” Hope said. “Someone had to put his hand up and bat through the innings. Felt good to be able to do it. It’s just about reading the situation, and as long as someone batted through, we were always going to win the game.”
Hope stood firm against the early threat of offspinner Mujeeb Ur Rehman (2-49), who had Evin Lewis (1) and Shimron Hetmyer (0) trapped leg before wicket in his second over.
Jamaican debutant Brendon King used his feet well against spinners, hitting five fours and a six in 39, before Rashid Khan’s googly clean bowled him.
Hope went on to share half-century stands with Nicholas Pooran (21), Pollard (32), and the match-winning 71-run partnership with Chase to reach the target with eight balls to spare.
“We came here with a mission and specific roles for players, and all the players deserve credit,” Pollard said after West Indies recorded its first ODI series sweep in five years.
West Indies’ last sweep was in 2014, 3-0 against Bangladesh at home.
“This was an opportunity for us to show we have that kind of venom inside us,” Pollard said. “We knew we had to rally as a team, and we proved we can bat 50 overs. Once we do that, we can win games.”
Afghan and Nabi shared a 127-run stand for the sixth wicket after seamer Keemo Paul, playing his first match of the series, claimed 3-44 and Afghanistan slumped to 118-5 in the 29th over.
Afghan’s nearly run-a-ball knock included six sixes and three fours. He was caught at short third man while looking for a big hit against seamer Alazarri Joseph (2-59) in the penultimate over.
“The kind of finishing we got from Asghar and Nabi, it gave us a chance to win the game,” Khan said. “We should have defended this total, but Hope played without giving us any chance.”
The series whitewash stretched Afghanistan’s losing streak to 12 matches in ODIs.
The teams will start a three-match Twenty20 series on Thursday at the same venue. It will be followed by a one-off test this month.