Rashid Khan Destroys the West Indies in their first ODI
Rashid Khan Destroys the West Indies in their first ODI, CricketHighlights
by Kristina Newsam, MyCricketHighlights Writer
The indomitable spirit of the 18-year-old legspin prodigy, Rashid Khan, weighed the heaviest in deciding the winner of the one day international between the West Indies and Afghanistan, writing his name into the annals of history as gaining the fourth best wicket haul throughout the history of ODIs.
Snatching away 7 wickets at the expense of just 18 runs, Khan ensured the word "can't" never came close to the minds of Afghanistan in their pursuit of success. In fact, he dominated from the very moment he was introduced into the bowling line-up. At the 23rd over, Khan claimed the wickets of both Jason Mohammed and Roston Chase, setting the tone for what was to be ultimate destruction of the West Indies.
On the other side of their innings, Afghanistan represented well with the bat, as right-hander, Javed Ahmadi, worked his way up to 81 runs, to establish a platform from which Afghanistan was able to defend with confidence and resilience.
Commendations must be extended to the bowling attack of the West Indies, as the dominance of Afghanistan should not be made to undermine the considerable pressure that was leveraged by both Shannon Gabriel and Miguel Cummins, who dished out short pitched deliveries to force Ahmadi and his teammates outside of the comfort zone of their crease, so as to get a good taste of the ball and stand even a chance of making a good effort at it.
Furthermore, Ahmadi's defiant defense was not the effort of a lone soldier, as he received formidable support from fellow right-hander, Rahmat Shah, who stood with him for a joint 55 runs. Long after this partnership had been dissolved and even Ahmadi was sent packing, the challenge did not die down, as Gulbadin Naib and Mohammad Nabi journeyed together to a 58-run partnership, to put a seal of sorts on the match for Afghanistan.
The West Indies would not recover, as Khan would feed off the efforts of his teammates with the bat, to then spin away any latent hopes his opponents might have had of somehow overcoming and claiming the elusive victory.
Much ground will have to be covered for the West Indies to bring a fresh approach to Sunday's 2nd ODI challenge against Afghanistan, as they will be faced with a team riding the high of an overpowering display of skill and strength, while having to make the best of their own inconsistencies and flaws which have already been exposed by this first challenge.