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PIX: Record-breaking Pooran powers WI past Afghanistan

Last updated on: June 18, 2024 10:15 IST
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IMAGE: Nicholas Pooran overtook Chris Gayle for the most sixes by a West Indies batter in T20 Internationals, during his stunning knock against Afghanistan in the T20 World Cup match in St Lucia on Monday. Photograph: Windies Cricket/X

Nicholas Pooran smashed a record-breaking 98 off 53 balls as the West Indies trounced Afghanistan by 104 runs in an inconsequential Group C match of the T20 World Cup in Gros Islet, St Lucia, on Monday.


Pooran took the Afghanistan bowlers to the cleaners, hitting eight sixes and six fours, in his entertaining knock as the West Indies raked up their highest batting score in T20 World Cups and the biggest of the tournament so far.

IMAGE: West Indies' players celebrate a wicket. Photograph: Windies Cricket/X

In reply, Obed McCoy rattled the Afghan middle-order, taking three wickets in as many overs, and spinners Akeil Hosein and Gudakesh Motie bowled tidy spells as Afghanistan were bundled out for a paltry 114 in 16.2 overs.

Opener Ibrahim Zadran top-scored for Afghanistan with 38 from 28 balls, while Azmatullah Omarzai (23) was the only Afghanistan batter to get past the 20-run mark as the visitors suffered a huge loss ahead of the Super 8 stage.

IMAGE: Nicholas Pooran celebrates his half-century against Afghanistan in the T20 World Cup match in St Lucia on Monday. Photograph: ICC/X

Earlier, Pooran went past Chris Gayle's record for the most sixes by a West Indies players in T20 Internationals. The left-hander took his tally to 128 sixes, overtaking Gayle, who had hit 124 sixes in his career. He also becomes the sixth batter in world cricket to hit 500 sixes or more in T20 cricket after Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Colin Munro and Rohit Sharma.

The West Indies wicketkeeper in the company of Johnson Charles rallied West Indies after the early dismissal of Brandon King (7).

Charles struck three boundaries in the third over Fazalhaq Farooqi before Pooran exploded to hammer 36 runs from the fourth over bowled by Azmatullah Omarzai -- 6, 5nb, 5wd, 0, 4lb, 4, 6, 6.

It’s the fifth time in the history of men's T20 cricket that an over had gone for 36 runs and only the second time at a men's T20 World Cup.

IMAGE: West Indies opener Johnson Charles bats. Photograph: Windies Cricket/X

The final six of the Omarzai over saw the duo raise the 50-run stand for the second wicket from just 14 balls.

West Indies raked up a huge 92/1 in six overs -- highest score in the Powerplay in T20 World Cups.

Before this match, the highest total Afghanistan had conceded in the ongoing T20 World Cup so far had been 95, against Papua New Guinea. The Windies cleared that at the 6.5 over mark before they raced past 100, in the eighth over.

IMAGE: Nicholas Pooran on the attack. Photograph: ICC/X

Charles hammered 43 off 27 balls before he was dismissed by Naveen-ul-Haq in the eighth over, ending an 80-run stand that took just six overs.

Shai Hope’s cameo (25 off 17) helped West Indies maintain the tempo in the middle overs. There was no stopping Pooran, who continued to go for his shots, as he blasted his way to a brilliant 50 from just 31 balls -- his first half-century in a T20 World Cup.

Afghanistan managed to restore some normalcy as four overs without a boundary from the 12th to 15th over.

Captain Rovman Powell broke the shackles with a six to start the 16th over which took the Windies past the 150 mark and went on the rampage again.

Pooran got cracking again in the 17th over as he hit the experienced Rashid Khan for 24 runs off the 18th over. Rashid had a tough day with the ball, conceding 45 runs, without a wicket, from his four overs.

Pooran started the final over in great style as he looked on course for his century with back to back sixes off Naveen-ul-Haq. He narrowly missed out on the hundred, run out for 98 after attempting to get back for the second run but a sensational throw from Omarzai caught him short.

West Indies finished off with a blaze, hitting 70 runs from the last five overs, replicating their effort in the Powerplay when they had hit 85 from the first five overs.

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