Afghanistan stun Group 1 winners West Indies


Afghanistan earned a slice of history as they defeated a full ICC member for the first time in an international tournament, beating West Indies by six runs at the World Twenty20 on Sunday.

The Windies topped Group 1 despite the embarrassing defeat thanks to net run rate, but their performance with the bat left much to be desired.

Having rested destructive opener Chris Gayle, with Evin Lewis handed an international debut, West Indies restricted Afghanistan to 123-7 on a spin-friendly Nagpur track, despite Najibullah Zadran's belligerent 48.

Afghanistan had made it their mission to beat a full ICC member in the Super 10 stage and, having troubled South Africa and England in previous defeats, they made history. 

The Windies batting line-up completely fell apart and their inability to pick up the pace could prove costly if it carries into the final four.

Mohammad Shahzad brought fireworks against the Proteas in Mumbai, but Afghanistan's task looked steep when the powerful opener was out for 24.

Captain Asghar Stanikzai made 16 and Zadran was the only other batsman to reach double figures, although he delighted the crowd with four fours and a six.

Lewis' debut came and went with a seven-ball duck, and alarm bells were raised as Andre Fletcher retired hurt after appearing to tweak his hamstring running a quick single. 

With Gayle nursing a similar injury, the Windies' could be fragile in the semi-finals if neither returns to fitness.

Fletcher's withdrawal was sandwiched by the quick-fire dismissals of Johnson Charles (22) and Marlon Samuels (5) as Afghanistan once again hinted at a shock.

Dwayne Bravo (28) and Denesh Ramdin (18) initially steadied the ship but the spin of Rashid Khan (2-26) and Mohammad Nabi (2-26) turned the tide before Andre Russell, having suffered an injury while fielding, was carelessly run out (7) to put the Afghans within touching distance.

Carlos Brathwaite came in and launched a six over long on to take the Windies beyond 101 they needed to ensure top spot, before nailing Gulbadin Naib 100 metres in midwicket's direction to set Afghan nerves jangling.

But, with 10 required off the final over, Brathwaite skied Nabi to Zadran and the returning Fletcher could not fire, sparking the minnows into cheeky renditions of Bravo's 'champion' dance and crowning a moment that will live long in the memory.