JAMAICA: West Indies captain Kieron Pollard was a relieved man after his side hammered Afghanistan to end their longest losing streak in Twenty20 internationals.
Opener Evin Lewis hit 68 off 41 balls and Pollard made an unbeaten 32 of 21 balls and took two key wickets to claim man of the match honours as West Indies won the game by 30 runs.
West Indies, who had lost their seven previous T20s this year, made 164-5 from their 20 overs and then restricted Afghanistan to 134-9.
“It’s always good to contribute but it’s always better to contribute in the winning cause,” Pollard said after the game late Thursday.
While paying tribute to Lewis, Pollard also said the Caribbean bowlers had performed “magnificently” despite being a bowler short. Pollard himself took Asghar Afghan and Najibullah Zadran as they were starting to build threatening innings.
“We have a couple of guys who can bowl here and there. The guys rose up to the occasion,” said Pollard. “We’ll have to go back and improve on certain areas.”
Afghanistan won the toss and skipper Rashid Khan opted to make West Indies bat but his gamble did not pay off. “We didn’t bowl well in the first 10 overs,” he admitted.
Afghanistan has now lost three straight T20s after 12 straight victories. However, Khan said the side were testing youngsters to be ready for future tournaments.
“We have a five-year plan. Hopefully, we’ll have the perfect 15 for the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup.” Both tournaments are in 2020.
The two sides play the second of their three-match T20 series in Lucknow on Saturday. Afghanistan plays all their home games in India because of security concerns.