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WI v AFG, 3rd T20I Review: Marlon Samuels dominates Afghanistan bowlers to complete whitewash for Windies

An unbeaten 89 from Marlon Samuels helped the Windies scale a target of 147 with 4 balls to spare.

Marlon Samuels
Marlon Samuels of Windies. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Afghanistan had only pride to play for in the third and final T20 in Basseterre, but a bossy innings by the Windies’ Marlon Samuels meant the visitors went back empty handed. Despite a decent batting performance – certainly more decent than their previous totals of 110 and 93 in the first two T20Is – Afghanistan couldn’t pull the plug on the Windies batsmen.

Jerome Taylor was straightaway on the money, as he sent the first 4 balls of the game flying past Noor Ali Zadran’s edge. However, it was his partner at the other end who perished in the next over without troubling the scorers. Noor Ali put the foot on the pedal after a shaky start, cracking 5 fours and 2 sixes. His onslaught was short-lived, and Kesrick William had the last laugh as his delivery shattered the woodwork.

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Lack of initiative from Afghan batsmen

Skipper Asghar Stanikzai later mentioned that his batsmen didn’t take responsibility. Perhaps he was the first man to be blamed – Stanikzai struggled to get to his 13, striking at a meagre 56.52. Karim Janat’s innings had a similar dullness to it, as he managed 8 off 17 deliveries. The only hint of aggression came from the senior statesman and recent IPL inductee Mohammad Nabi. 2 massive sixes featured in his 38, which brought Afghanistan close to the 100-run mark.

A late burst from Shafiqullah meant the visitors finished with 146 on the board. However, scaling 147 was never going to be a demanding task for the Windies on home soil. Marlon Samuels took matters into his own hands and made sure the Windies completed a clean sweep.

The pick of the bowlers was Kesrick Williams, who had 3 Afghan wickets after the first innings. Sunil Narine was his usual frugal self, but had nothing to show for in the wickets column. Rovman Powell, Jerome Taylor and Samuel Badree bagged one apiece.

Marlon Samuels steadies the Windies ship

Shapoor Zadran removed Chadwick Walton in the second ball of the chase. In walked Marlon Samuels, and along with Evin Lewis, he kept the scoreboard ticking. The Windies were indeed behind the asking rate when Lewis fell – the scoreboard read 61-2 at the end of the 10th – but the margin wasn’t concerning.

Lendl Simmons contributed 15 to the chase, but the bulk of the work was done by Samuels. He got to his highest score in T20Is, an unbeaten 89 from 66 balls, and in turn guided the Windies home with 4 balls to spare. Samuels was ably assisted by Jason Mohammed, whose 16-ball 23 ensured the match didn’t go down to the wire.

Winning with 4 balls left might give some the impression that it was a tense game. The Windies were however in full control of the chase, especially with Samuels at the crease right till the end. His match-winning performance earned him the Man of the Match award, and he was also adjudged the Player of the Series.

The Windies would be pleased with their efforts – they were clinical with the ball throughout the T20I series. As for Afghanistan, they’ll be hoping luck favours them in the upcoming one-dayers so that they can script a less one-sided contest.

Brief Scores:

Afghanistan – 146/6 (20) Mohammad Nabi – 38(30), Kesrick Williams – 3/34

Windies – 147/3 (19.2) Marlon Samuels – 89(66), Rashid Khan – 1/22

Windies won by 7 wickets

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