LUCKNOW, India – All-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall reinforced his value with the bat while fast bowler Alzarri Joseph turned up the pace, as the three-day tour match against an Afghanistan Cricket Board XI finished in a draw today. But the game ended with more questions than answers.
Resuming from their overnight 217 for seven, West Indies were energised by a cameo unbeaten 44 from Cornwall before they were bowled out at lunch for 297 in their second innings.
Cornwall, who made his Test debut against India last August, struck half-dozen fours and two sixes in a 55-ball knock batting at number 10.
Importantly, he inspired a 59-run last wicket stand with Jomel Warrican (10) after West Indies lost two quick wickets early in the morning session to stumble to 238 for nine.
The 26-year-old picked up four wickets in the Board XI first innings of 158 on Thursday.
Left-arm spinner Hamza Hotak was the leading bowler for the Board XI with four for 91.
Set an improbable 308 for victory, the Board XI got entertaining half-centuries from Ihsanullah Janat (84 not out) and Ibrahim Zadran (76) as they finished on 183 for three.
Ihsanullah, a 32-year-old right-hander, stroked 11 fours off 149 balls in nearly 3-¼ hours at the crease while Zadran also counted 11 boundaries in a knock requiring 126 balls in a shade under three hours.
They put on 150 for the second wicket after seamer Keemo Paul had removed first innings top-scorer Javed Ahmadi without scoring in the fourth over with four runs on the board.
On 130 for one at tea, Joseph claimed Zadran to a catch at the wicket nearly 45 minutes following the break, and then removed Rahmat Shah for 11 after the right-hander put on 27 for the third wicket with Ihsanullah. Joseph bowled with pace and touched 90 miles per hour during his spell.
For Cornwall, the all-round performance meant a lot as he prepared for his first international assignment outside the Caribbean. The one-off Test match will be the first between West Indies and Afghanistan and also the first at the neutral venue in the city of Lucknow.
“I felt good because I gave myself a chance to do well. When we bowled, I was comfortable and I got the ball to turn a lot. The pitches here are a lot drier than what we get back home so that offers something for my style of bowling,” Cornwall told CWI Media.
“Also, I just wanted to bat long and get a feel of how the pitch was playing. That was also very important, and I take my batting quite seriously. I came here in good form as I had some good knocks for Leewards in the Super50 tournament so I wanted to transfer that form,” he added.
But while Cornwall had a good outing with both bat and ball, there are still concerns about the West Indies’ overall batting with very few of the batsmen getting long knocks in the solitary warm-up game.
Opening batsman John Campbell failed in the match while senior opening partner Kraigg Brathwaite fell for a duck in the second innings after his painstaking 48 in the first. Middle-order batsman Shimron Hetmyer got good starts of 38 and 30 in the game but as has become his recent habit, he failed to turn them into substantial innings.
Sunil Ambris’ 66 and Roston Chase’s 57 were the only scores over 50 by West Indies batsmen in the game.
West Indies take on Afghanistan in the one-off inaugural Test at the same venue next Tuesday.
Summarised scores: West Indies 168 (Kraigg Brathwaite 48, Shimron Hetmyer 38, Shai Hope26, Shane Dowrich 23; Hamza Hotak 4-34) and 297 (Sunil Ambris 66, Roston Chase 57, Rahkeem Cornwall 44, Shimron Hetmyer 30; Hamza Hotak 4-91) Afghanistan Cricket Board XI 158 (Javed Ahmadi 56; Jomel Warrican 5-38, Rahkeem Cornwall 4-54) and 183-3 (Ihsanullah Janat 84 retired, Ibrahim Zadran 76; Alzarri Joseph 2-37)