Only a few weeks after his September 2019 international debut, Rahkeem Cornwall was running out in a CPL game against Guyana Amazon Warriors that prompted a lot of ridiculous memes on social media platforms. The bizarre part of the aforementioned runout was that at the end of the hitter, Cornwall almost past the stumps, but failed to ground his bat thus causing an uproar among the telephone commentators.
In that game, he was out cheaply and did not pick up any wickets. His team-st Lucia Zouks lost the game and knocked out of the playoff race was one of the first sides. On occasions, such small things to overwhelm your positive approach, and given the ruthless mockery of digital media, one could easily slip into a hibernation closet. Hailing from Antigua, Rakhkeem Rashawn Shane Cornwall put all that and the criticism to rest on Wednesday (November 27) before his debut as he registered the best bowling figures ever on day one by a Windies spinner since 1957-bagging 7for 75.
Cornwall always had the hype around him, and soon after his Test baptism, none of them stayed with him. At Kingston Jamaica, the 26-year-old claimed three wickets against India and had a poor outing with the bat. In an interview before his debut, Cornwall said that he should not disappoint his friends and family and also noted that “format suits my game because of the consistency a plater needs over a long period to be successful, and I’ve enjoyed that challenge so fat in my career playing first-class cricket.”
Cornwall calmly etched his name in the history books with a superb spell of classic off-spin bowling in a hazy Lucknow ground, with most of his hometown presumably asleep. Holder, only took eight overs after winning the toss to throw the ball at the one-Test old spinner, and Cornwall wasn’t disappointed. His first three wickets came respectively through bat-pad, outside edge and inside edge- a vivid indication of the artistry involved in his magical bowling spell.
Afghanistan was stunned by Cornwall’s acute accuracy and had no response to his relentless line of aggression. The first session offered the hosts a ray of hope as their top three managed decent beginnings, only later to be duped by the spin-barrage.
Within the first hour of post-lunch session, as many as four wickets fell as Cornwall tore through the middle-order of Afghanistan, leaving no room for the new batters to settle in. In the space of seven runs respectively, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, and debutant Nasir Jamal were dismissed in the successive overs of Cornwall.
Together with number four Shamrah brooks, Brathwaite’s opening partner John Campbell steadied the innings in the next eleven overs to steer their side into a safety nest. With eight wickets in hand, West Indies are still 119 runs behind.
Brief scores: Afghanistan187 (Javed Ahmadi 39, Afsar Zazai 32; Rahkeem Cornwall 7-75) lead West Indies 68/2 (John Campbell 30) by 119 runs.