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World T20: Minnows Afghanistan stun West Indies

Last updated on: March 27, 2016 20:16 IST
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IMAGE: Afghanistan players celebrate their victory against West Indies during the ICC World T20 match in Nagpur. Photograph: PTI.

Minnows Afghanistan scripted history as they defeated 2012 champions West Indies by six runs in their final group league encounter of the ICC World Twenty20 in Nagpur to sign off on a memorable note. 

West Indies failed to reach a target of 124 as the Associate nation were able to restrict them to 117 for eight. 

- Scorecard

West Indies had already qualified for the semi-finals before the game and still finished top of the group ahead of England with a superior net run rate despite the defeat.

The story of the day, however, was all about the talented Afghan boys, who have impressed one and all with their spirited display so far in the tournament. After a string of close losses, the Afghans kept their calm on today to beat a  much-fancied West Indies side, who looked formidable even in the absence of Chris Gayle.

"Obviously we are disappointed, but there's no doubt we are not going to let this dampen our spirits," Windies' Darren Sammy told reporters.

IMAGE: Afghanistan celebrate after winning. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images.

Earlier, Najibullah Zadran guided Afghanistan to 123-7 against West Indies after leg-spinner Samuel Badree decimated their top order.

Windies skipper Darren Sammy won the toss and opted to field and Badree took three wickets for 14 runs in a devastating opening spell to leave Afghanistan struggling on 52 for four in the 10th over, before Najibullah steadied the ship with an unbeaten 48 off 40 balls, including four fours and a six.

Badree bowled opener Usman Ghani with the batsman on four before breaking the partnership between Mohammad Shazad and Afghanistan skipper Asghar Stanikzai, with added 25 runs for the second wicket.

Shahzad was caught by Sulieman Benn on 24 and Stanikzai by Dwayne Bravo at long-on for 16 immediately after hitting the only six of his innings.

Benn, Sammy and Andre Russell took four wickets between them as West Indies put on a disciplined performance with the ball, conceding three extras in the entire innings.

In reply, the Afghan bowlers maintained a disciplined line and length. It was heartening to see skipper Asghar Stanikzai toss up
the ball to off-spinner Mohammed Nabi with West Indies needing 10 runs off the last over. 

There were emotional scenes all around after Afghanistan completed the formalities, prompting West Indian star Chris Gayle, who was rested from the game, to congratulate them and even pose for pictures with the victorious team.

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