West Indies T20 World Cup Super Eights

West Indies

The West Indies co-hosts have sent a powerful message to the top contenders ahead of the Super Eights stage by demolishing Afghanistan in their final group match on Monday.

Left-handed batsman Nicholas Pooran showcased a masterful combination of elegance and power, scoring an impressive 98 with eight sixes. His performance propelled the West Indies to a resounding 104-run victory over Afghanistan at Gros Islet in St Lucia.

The comprehensive win against a formidable Afghan side, which had already eliminated New Zealand from the tournament, underscored the home team’s capability to clinch the title.

Teams like Australia, India, England, and South Africa may be considered favorites to reach the semifinals from the two Super Eights groups, but underestimating the West Indies could be a grave mistake.

West Indies’ Strengths

The West Indies, who kick off their Super Eights campaign against defending champions England on Wednesday (4:30 am UAE Time, Thursday), are likely to benefit from the favorable batting conditions on their home pitches. These conditions have also been advantageous for spinners.

Akeal Hosein, a proficient left-arm spinner, has already claimed nine wickets in the tournament. Coupled with their powerful batters and explosive all-rounders, the West Indies emerged as the only unbeaten side in the first round, alongside Australia, with four wins from four matches.

Pooran’s Brilliance

With Nicholas Pooran rediscovering his top form in their final group game against Afghanistan, the West Indies will be riding a wave of confidence as they prepare to face England in their first Super Eights match.

Pooran’s innings ended in a run-out by a direct hit from Azmatullah Omarzai while attempting a second run in the final over, leaving West Indies with a total of 218 for five, the highest score of the tournament.

In response, Afghanistan managed to reach only 114 in 16.2 overs. The result was academic as both teams had already secured their places in the Super Eights, which begin on Wednesday.

Dominating the Group Stage

West Indies opted to bat first on an excellent pitch in front of an exuberant home crowd. Despite Brandon King falling early, Pooran (98 off 53 balls) found a strong partner in Johnson Charles (43 off 27 balls), and together, they dismantled the Afghan bowling attack.

Charles struck eight fours, while Pooran was unstoppable, hitting six fours and eight sixes. Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan brought himself on in the fifth over to control the scoring with his wrist spin but conceded 12 runs. By the end of the powerplay, West Indies were 92 for one, the highest score after six overs in a T20 World Cup.

Though Afghanistan’s slow bowlers managed to regain some control, the West Indies still reached 113 for two after 10 overs and 148 for three after 15 overs. They crossed the 200 mark after 18.5 overs against medium pacer Gulbadin Naib, the seventh bowler used by Afghanistan.

The Afghans never posed a threat as the West Indies bowlers maintained a stranglehold from the start. Left-arm paceman Obed McCoy, playing his first game of the tournament, varied his length and pace from a relaxed action to take three wickets for 14 runs.

Pooran, in his other role as wicketkeeper, took a spectacular leaping catch before the innings ended.

“I had to take responsibility,” Pooran said after achieving the highest individual score in this year’s tournament. “In the West Indies, people want fours and sixes. You can’t do that every time, but when conditions allow, you should capitalize.”

Aiming for a Third Title

Skipper Rovman Powell stated that the West Indies aim to exploit home conditions in the Super Eights as they strive to become the first team to win three T20 World Cup titles, following their triumphs in 2012 and 2016.

“We are playing in the West Indies, and it is our responsibility to make full use of home conditions,” Powell said. “When we started the journey, we were 8th or 9th in the world. Now we are around 3rd in the world, and when you do well, the fans start believing.”

(With inputs from Reuters)

First Two Super Eight Matches:


South Africa vs USA

6:30 pm UAE Time


West Indies vs England

4:30 am UAE Time

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By- Sahiba Suri

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