West Indies fielded a squad resembling its first-choice playing XI, bringing back Chris Gayle and Darren Sammy, for the warm-up tie against Afghanistan at the P Sara Oval in Colombo on Monday (September 17). The effect was evident, as West Indies, chasing a modest Afghanistan total, pulled off a win by 8 wickets with 25 balls to spare.
West Indies pacers Fidel Edwards (3/24), Ravi Rampaul (1/26) and Sammy (1/15) caused the early damage as Afghanistan slipped to 32 for 3.
Asghar Stanikzai changed the course of the match to a large extent with a 50-ball 53. But with no significant contribution coming from the rest of the batsmen, and Sunil Narine (2/23) bringing his guiles into play, Afghanistan managed only a rather modest 122 for 7 from its 20 overs.
West Indies’s reply started badly, with Dwayne Smith (13) falling to Mohammad Nabi, who later also accounted for Johnson Charles (12) to return figures of 2/29 from his four overs.
The rest of the innings was all about Chris Gayle, who slammed an unbeaten 65 from 48 balls, an innings studded with five fours and four sixes. Marlon Samuels hung around to give Gayle company till the end, unbeaten on a quiet 15 from 12 balls.