Home Cricket Nicholas Pooran’s Explosive Innings Sets West Indies on Course Against Afghanistan

Nicholas Pooran’s Explosive Innings Sets West Indies on Course Against Afghanistan

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First Innings Highlights

West Indies set the highest first innings total in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup2024, reaching 218/5 against Afghanistan in their Group C match on Tuesday. The explosive performance was led by Nicholas Pooran, who smashed 98 off 53 balls, and Johnson Charles, who contributed 43 off 27 balls.

Early Setback and Strong Recovery

West Indies faced an early setback when they lost opener Brandon King. However, the partnership between Pooran and Charles brought stability and aggression. Charles, despite a scratchy start, found a way to hit boundaries consistently, keeping the momentum in West Indies’ favor.

Pooran’s Explosive Innings

Nicholas Pooran’s arrival at the crease marked the beginning of an onslaught. His powerful shots sent the ball soaring into the stands. The duo capitalized on the Powerplay, setting a record with 92 runs, the highest ever Powerplay score in T20 World Cup2024 history.

Middle Overs and Strategic Play

After Charles’ departure for 43, Pooran and Shai Hope built a cautious 33-run partnership. Hope scored 25 before being dismissed, but Pooran continued his aggressive play, reaching a brilliant half-century. The run rate remained high, hovering around 10 runs per over.

Rovman Powell’s Contribution

Skipper Rovman Powell provided solid support with a quick 26 runs. In the 18th over, Pooran targeted Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, scoring 24 runs off the over, including several towering sixes. Pooran’s innings, graced by 8 sixes, ended just 2 runs short of a century.

Afghan Bowlers’ Struggle

The Afghan bowlers faced a tough time right from the start. Azmatullah Omarzai picked up Brandon King’s wicket early, but the rest of the Powerplay went poorly for Afghanistan. Omarzai himself conceded 36 runs in his second over, opening the floodgates for West Indies’ scoring.

Fielding Mishaps and Late Wickets

Mohammad Nabi’s dropped catch of Charles added to Afghanistan’s woes. Though Naveen-ul-Haq eventually dismissed Charles, Noor Ahmed and Rashid Khan managed to control the middle overs slightly. Gulbadin Naib took two wickets, including the dangerous Powell, but Pooran’s late assault on Rashid Khan dashed their hopes of limiting the score.

Conclusion of West Indies’ Innings

West Indies finished their innings at 218/5, with Afghanistan conceding 70 runs in the last 5 overs. The sloppy fielding and inability to contain the run rate during crucial moments cost Afghanistan dearly.

Second Innings Preview

Afghanistan now faces a daunting task of chasing 219 runs. Their openers, Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz, need to provide a strong start to keep their hopes alive. West Indies will aim to take early wickets to put pressure on the Afghan batting lineup.

Afghanistan’s Response

The stage is set for a thrilling chase. The West Indies players are taking their fielding positions as Afghanistan’s openers prepare to face the first ball. Akeal Hosein will open the bowling attack for the Windies, looking to make early inroads.