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World T20: Windies seek to continue winning momentum against Afghanistan

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 6:03 IST

They may have secured a semifinal slot with three straight victories but in-form West Indies would like to continue their winning ways when they face a spirited Afghanistan in their final group game of ICC World T20 cricket tournament in Nagpur on 27 March.

Also read: 5 Australians who can trump India in winner-takes-all affair

Afghanistan will hope that the Windies take it easy after making the knockouts and sign off with a consolation victory at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium at Jamtha.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy said his team would have a party after qualifying for the semifinals with a nervy last over victory against South Africa. They are already eyeing their next week's last-four match.

The 2012 champions have been in fine form with convincing wins over England and Sri Lanka though they made a heavy weather of a small chase against the Proteas before eventually pulling off a 3-wicket last over win, and the Sammy-led Caribbeans would start as overwhelming favourites on Sunday.

The Afghans, on the other hand, have won hearts in India with their spirited showing in the mega-event, giving tough competition to the other teams in their group, especially against England.

They gave South Africa a fright last weekend when they raced to 105 for two in pursuit of the Proteas' total of 210, although they were ultimately beaten after a flurry of wickets.

Against England, they had a very good chance of registering a victory in their last fixture after sending half of the Three Lions' batting line-up back to the pavilion before the end of the 10th over.

England was reduced to 85 for seven at one stage before Moeen Ali bailed them out of the woods and spared his team the blushes.

Afghanistan is yet to beat one of cricket's big guns but leg-spinner Rashid Khan said they would become more competitive if they get more game time against top opposition.

"When we play more international matches then the improvement will come," he said after the England match.

"The only thing is, we have to play more matches against these teams."

A win over the West Indies would consolidate their place in the top 10 of the T20 International rankings and increase their chances of being invited to play more matches against big teams.

Rashid is part of a four-pronged spin attack that should relish a Nagpur pitch that turned alarmingly in India's opener against New Zealand.

Teams

West Indies: Darren Sammy (c), Samuel Badree, Sulieman Benn, Carlos Braithwaite, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Evin Lewis.

Afghanistan: Asghar Stanikzai (c), Amir Hamza, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Karim Sadiq, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Najibullah Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Rashid Khan, Samiullah Shenwari, Shafiqullah Shafiq, Shapoor Zadran, Usman Ghani.

First published: 26 March 2016, 4:31 IST
 
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