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West Indies on brink of three-day test victory against Afghans

AP

West Indies was on the brink of victory against Afghanistan in their one-off test after stocky offspinner Rahkeem Cornwall achieved a match haul of 10 wickets on day two Thursday.

Shamarh Brook’s maiden test hundred anchored the West Indies to 277 in its first innings and a 90-run lead just before tea. By stumps, Cornwall had 3-41 and reduced Afghanistan to 109-7 for an overall lead of just 19 runs.

West Indies didn’t complete the win on Thursday only because of the resistance of Javed Ahmadi, who scored 62 runs until he was out on the last ball of the day to a brilliant low catch by Cornwall, giving offspinner Roston Chase innings figures of 3-1-10-3.

Ahmadi was Afghanistan’s last recognized batsman, and his exit ensured his team will not become the first to win three of its first four tests.

Cornwall took 7-75 on Wednesday as Afghanistan was dismissed for 187 on the opening day. He again bamboozled the home team’s top order on Thursday, and should have dismissed Ahmadi in his second over, but Cornwall overstepped and bowled a no-ball.

Afghanistan openers Ahmadi and Ibrahim Zadran (23) splendidly saw off the seamers in the second innings and looked steady by adding 53 runs.

But when Cornwall began and had Zadran lbw when the batsman offered no shot to the offspinner, Afghanistan slipped to 59-4 in the space of six runs. The flurry of wickets included a bizarre run out of Ihsanullah as Ahmadi first ran and then refused to go for a sharp single with Ihsanullah left stranded in the middle of the pitch.

Debutant Nasir Jamal (15) resisted against Cornwall before Chase arrived and took three quick wickets.

Earlier, the 31-year-old Brooks, playing in only his third test match, made 111 off 214 balls before the West Indies was bowled out.

Brooks featured in two half-century partnerships to the frustration of the Afghan spinners led by captain Rashid Khan.

Brooks hit 15 fours and a six before he finally fell in the second session to a rare reckless shot and was bowled by left-arm spinner Amir Hamza, who took 5-74 in his debut test.

Rashid, 3-114, bowled an unchanged spell of 13 overs in the first session and got lbw decisions against Shimron Hetmyer (13) and Cornwall (5). There’s no television referrals for this test, otherwise both decisions may have gone in West Indies’ favor on review.

The West Indies resumed on day two at 68-2 and some aggressive batting netted 127 runs in the first session.

Brooks added 82 runs with John Campbell (55) as they played aggressive shots against the Afghan spinners in the first hour.

Campbell hit seven fours and a six in his maiden test half-century until he mistimed a sweep and Ihsanullah snapped up a brilliant one-handed diving catch to his right while moving swiftly to leg slip.

Brooks’ other big stand was 74 with Shane Dowrich (42) for the sixth wicket.

Afghanistan lost to India inside two days in its inaugural test, but then beat Ireland and Bangladesh in its next two tests.