Karim Janat produced one of the best bowling spells in T20I cricket history as Afghanistan leveled the three-match series registering a 41-run win over West Indies in the second T20I in Lucknow.
Janat returned with 5-11 in 4 overs – the second-best figures in Afghanistan’s T20I cricket history (after Rashid Khan) and wreaked havoc on the West Indian top and middle order.
Chasing 148, West Indies were in dire straits at 54 for 5 in the 12th over with Janat picking up 4 wickets conceding just 7 runs in his first 3 overs. At this stage, CricAlgorithmics gave Afghanistan a 94% Chance of Winning the match.
West Indies could not recover from this damage and were never in the hunt ending well short of the target in the end.
At the start of the match, based on the playing XIs of both the teams, CricAlgorithmics had picked Afghanistan as favourites with a 61% Chance of Winning the match.
It also forecasted that Afghanistan would score 155 and Hazratullah Zazai would top-score in the innings.
As it turned out, Zazai did turn out to be the joint highest scorer of the match albeit with a score of just 26! Janat also hit a quickfire 26 off just 18 deliveries.
Afghanistan’s innings was in trouble at 97 for 6 in the 15th over. At that stage, it was the West Indies who had surged ahead and had a 56% chance of victory.
However, Najibullah Zadran and Gulbadin Naib put together 44 off just 32 deliveries for the seventh-wicket to help their team cross 140.
At the half way stage into the match, CricAlgorithmics predicted that Afghanistan had a 57% Chance of Winning the match. It also forecasted that West Indies would score somewhere between 95 and 110 (as it turned out they ended with 106).
Although they ended on the losing side, there were some positives for the West Indies from the match.
Kesrick Williams continued to impress with his wicket-taking prowess. He got rid of the Afghanistan openers and finished with 3-23 in 4 overs.
Williams has now picked 36 wickets in 20 T20I matches at a phenomenal average of 15.72 and strike rate of 11.8.
Afghanistan started favourites but lost their way in the middle before the recovery through the seventh-wicket partnership gave them the advantage at the change of innings.
Janat’s performance with the ball, however, ensured that the curve continued to rise during the West Indian chase with Afghanistan’s Chance of Winning never going below 50% during the entire course of the second half.