Back to winning ways for Holder’s West Indies

Fri, Nov 29, '19



The West Indies got the better of Afghanistan inside three days, to claim victory in the first ever Test encounter between the two nations, in Lucknow on Friday morning. The nine-wicket victory means that Jason Holder has now won four of the last eight series he has overseen as Test Captain, in the last two years; drawing once and losing three times. And it was the two men who debuted in the previous series, against India in the Caribbean—Shamarh Brooks and Rahkeem Cornwall—that shone through for the visitors.

There was much chatter about the West Indies’ decision to bowl first—having fielded three spinners—but Rahkeem Cornwall’s first innings figures of 7 for 75 soon quieted the comments, with Afghanistan dismissed for 187. Cornwall’s exhibition of skill and accuracy, however, would have counted for naught, had WINDIES batsmen fail to back him up. And back him up, they did.

Following John Campbell’s initial aggressive approach, which allowed Shamarh Brooks to dig in—the 31-year-old subsequently marching on to his maiden Test ton—there was a moment in the West Indian first innings where the men in maroon found themselves at 150 for 5. Then, in came Shane Dowrich, to stand in a 74-run 6th wicket (dare I say, match-winning) partnership with Brooks, ensuring the West Indies would get over that 250 mark. At the end of the first innings, the West Indies had a lead of 90 runs to protect.

Roston Chase joined the party in the second innings, as the wickets were distributed this time around; Cornwall, Chase and the world no.4 ranked Holder all claiming three victims, with the West Indies ripping Afghanistan apart within 44 overs. Campbell and company then needed only six overs to claim their first piece of silverware in Asia for seven years.

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