Marlon Samuels scored an unbeaten 89 run knock for West Indies in the third and final T20I against Afghanistan to steer his side home without any problem. The seven-wicket win ensures West Indies finished with a clean sweep over the visiting Afghanistan side. All three matches in the T20 series were played at Warner Park in St Kitts.
Batting first, Afghanistan scored 146/6 but the total didn’t look strong enough to both West Indies who reached home with four balls to spare and seven wickets in the bag. Samuels’ 89-run knock from 66 balls is his highest score in T20I matches. His innings was laced with three sixes and nine fours. It completed a 3-0 series sweep. Neither sides finished in the top-8 rankings and are not part of the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
Samuels took home the Man of the Match and Man of the Series Awards.
“I know my role in this team and it was important to stay out there and ensure we got the target,” he said in the post match reactions. “Partnerships are important to any run chase and it was good that a couple of us worked together effectively.”
Afghanistan were made to rue allowing Samuels to continue after their most experienced player Mohammad Nabi let go of a chance to dismiss him at 40. Nabi let go of a sharp caught-and-bowl chance that allowed Samuels to keep batting and he didn’t blink again. Earlier Nabi had top-scored with 38 runs for Afghanistan having won the toss.
West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite understood it was important for them to win against Afghanistan considering the minnows tag for the visitors. “It was important for us to complete the sweep because if we hadn’t done so there would have been all sorts of things said about our team,” said Brathwaite. “They may be minnows in international cricket but we respect them and there was no way we were going to take
them for granted.”
“This was very disappointing but it is still a step in the right direction for us to be playing teams like the West Indies,” said Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai. “We are hopeful that this experience will serve us well for the one- day matches to come.”
Afghanistan now play West Indies in a three ODI series. All three matches will be played in St Lucia and the series begins on Friday,