(Barbados Today) GROS ISLET, St Lucia – The fragility of the West Indies team to quality spin was cruelly exposed as they were embarrassed by Afghanistan at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium Friday night.
Afghanistan had won on four previous occasions when leg-spinner Rashid Khan had picked four wickets or more. But Friday night brought him one of his tougher challenges: he had only 212 to defend on a sluggish St Lucia surface but that only seemed to spur him on. The talented 18-year old finished with 7 for 18 – the fourth-best haul in ODI history – and West Indies were bowled out for 149.
The 63-run victory for Afghanistan, their first in this format over a Full Member other than Zimbabwe, exposed the ineptness of a West Indies unit struggling in their quest to qualify directly for the 2019 World Cup.
Khan, introduced in the 23rd over with West Indies looking seemingly steady at 68 for 2, broke open the game by picking up four wickets for one run. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, he was on a hat-trick twice during the course of his first two overs.