ABOUT THE MATCH
Afghanistan will lose their first post-World Cup ODI series to the West Indies unless they can arrest their losing streak in the second game of this series. The match, at the Ekana International Cricket Stadium, Lucknow, takes place on November 9.
As with their meeting at the World Cup Afghanistan’s most recent ODI before this series Rahmat Shah and Ikram Alikhil hit half-centuries but could not stop them sliding to defeat. They were bowled out for 194, having been 126/2 in the 27th over.
West Indies’ bowling effort was led by former captain Jason Holder, who claimed 2-21 from ten overs before Roston Chase took center-stage with the bat. Any suggestions the West Indies could find the target tricky were obliterated when Chase smashed 94 from 115 runs in a seven-wicket win. They are now favorites to win this series.
West Indies won the toss in the opening game of the series and elected to field first. Afghanistan could choose likewise if the pitch plays in a similar way.
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
Conditions are set to be hot in Lucknow on Saturday. It will get humid in the evening and a lack of wind could make things stuffy, but there is zero chance of rain.
Matches on this tour so far have suggested the Lucknow wicket can give the bowlers something, both pace for the fast men and a little turn too.
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF AFGHANISTAN
Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Asghar Afghan, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan (c), Yamin Ahmadzai, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF WEST INDIES
Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Kieron Pollard (c), Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Sheldon Cottrell, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh Jr, Alzarri Joseph
- With neither Hazratullah Zazai nor Javed Ahmadi scoring runs at the top of the order, Afghanistan could revert to their World Cup tactic of Gulbadin Naib up the order with in-form Rahmat Shah.
- Hazratullah’s lack of runs during the World Cup and now since has been one of their major concerns.
- After nine straight defeats at the World Cup, Afghanistan’s bid to end their ODI losing steak after they lost the first game of this series.
- Half-centuries from Rahmat Shah and Ikram Alikhil had them well-placed at the halfway point, but they collapsed to 194 all out after Alikhil’s bizarre run-out and eventually lost by seven wickets.
- Romario Shepherd and former USA international Hayden Walsh Jr made their West Indies ODI debuts last time out.
- Walsh’s inclusion as an extra spinner meant no space for Keemo Paul, but the balance seemed to work well in their seven-wicket win.
- Brandon King’s wait for his ODI debut goes on, and he may have to stay patient beyond this second match too.
- West Indies got back to winning ways after their series defeat to India, by starting this series with a victory.
- They bowled Afghanistan out for 194, with Jason Holder, Roston Chase, and Romario Shepherd all claiming two wickets, before Shai Hope (77*) and Chase (94) led West Indies to a dominant seven-wicket win.
PROBABLE WINNING TEAM:
West Indies might be favorites, after Afghanistan’s dismal World Cup, but they have hardly been pulling up trees in 50-over cricket either. This is a chance for Rashid Khan’s team to hit back.
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