PCB Backs Misbah despite failure in PSL 202023 March 2020 / SkyBook365 Cricket Editors Team
Islamabad crashed out without reaching the knockout stages for the 1st time.
Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz slammed a strokeful 52-ball 79 as Afghanistan claimed the three-match T20I series 2-1 with a comprehensive 29-run win over the West Indies in the third match. Batting first after winning the toss, Afghanistan posted a competitive 156 runs for the loose of 8 wickets, Opener Hazrutullah Zazai failed to score run but another opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz played a fantastic innings of 79 runs from 52 deliveries. Gurbaz slammed six fours and five sixes in his 52-ball knock to almost single-handedly take Afghanistan to a good score. Asghar Afghan (24 off 20), Najibullah Zadran (14 off 14) and Mohammad Nabi (15 off 7) were the other contributors. For West Indies, Sheldon Cottrell (2/29), Kesrick Williams (2/31) and Keemo Paul (2/26) snapped two wickets each, while Kieron Pollard took one. Chasing 157 to win, West Indies lost their opener very early, Lendl Simmons (7) and Brandon King (1) early to be reduced to 16 for two. Evin Lewis (24) was then dismissed LBW by Karim Janat (24). Afghan bowler Naveen-ul-Haq took 3 wickets and gave only 24 runs.
Hope, who came in for injured Denesh Ramdin, tried to keep West Indies in the game. Hope and Shimron Hetmyer took the side to from16 for 2 to 78 for 3. The duo ran well between the wickets and were also helped by some sloppy fielding from Afghanistan. Hope and Hetmyer added 38 runs but the latter was removed by Rashid Khan in the 13th over. Skipper Pollard then joined Hope, the duo brought up the team hundred but they failed to push the score. Rashid broke the stand with Hetmyer's wicket who mis-hit a googly to point. Pollard and Hope too struggled against the Afghanistan captain, failing to read his variations. While Rashid didn't take any more wickets, he conceded just 18 from his four overs. By the time he finished his spell. It wasn't an impossible task with Pollard and Hope still in the middle. But Naveen and Gulbadin Naib varied their pace and lengths intelligently and gave away just 16 runs in the last three overs to seal the victory.
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