Shamarh Brooks struck a maiden Test hundred and Rahkeem Cornwall became the first West Indies spinner to claim a 10-wicket match haul on the subcontinent, as the Caribbean side dominated day two of the one-off Test against Afghanistan at Lucknow to put themselves on the verge of a comprehensive victory.
On another bowlers’ day at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Stadium when 14 of 15 wickets fell to spinners, West Indies managed to secure an important 90-run lead after being dismissed for 277 in their first innings.
Brooks, unbeaten overnight on 19, faced 214 balls and counted 15 fours and a six in his knock of 111 in his third Test after making his debut last August against India in the Caribbean.
Left-handed opener John Campbell, resuming from 30, made 55 – his maiden Test half-century in his sixth match at this level – while wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich chipped in with 42 in his first Test appearance in nine months following injury.
Debutant left-arm spinner Amir Hamza picked up five for 74, leg-spinning captain Rashid Khan claimed three for 114 while Zahir Khan, another left-arm spinner, supported with two for 53.
Cornwall then snatched three for 41 and fellow off-spinner Roston Chase, three for 10, as Afghanistan ended the day on the ropes on 109 for seven – a lead of only 19 runs ahead of Friday’s third day.
First innings top-scorer Javed Ahmadi led again with a polished 62 as the hosts cashed in on the early overs of seam to coast to 53 without loss.
Once Cornwall was introduced, however, Afghanistan declined quickly to lose seven wickets for 56 runs.
Cornwall so far has match figures of 10 for 116 – the first 10-wicket match haul by a West Indies bowler in India in 44 years.
Resuming the morning on 68 for two – still 119 runs adrift of their target – West Indies flourished nicely as Brooks and Campbell extended their third wicket stand to 82.
Campbell struck three boundaries in the day’s third over from Amir Hamza – two audacious successive reverse sweeps and an orthodox sweep – as he raced to his fifty in the fifth over of the morning.
All told, he stroked seven fours and a six off 75 deliveries before top-edging a sweep at Hamza for Ihsanullah to take an excellent catch running around to leg gully.
Afghanistan struck again when Rashid Khan trapped Shimron Hetmyer lbw for 13 on the stroke of the drinks break and Chase followed 16 balls later for two, taken at short leg off Zahir Khan at 150 for five.
Brooks and Dowrich then combined in a 74-run sixth wicket stand which took the Windies to lunch on 195 without further loss, and also frustrated the Afghans early in the second session.
The right-handed Brooks played with fluency on either side of the wicket and raised his half-century in the second over after the day’s first drinks break. Unbeaten on 75 at lunch, he reached his hundred about half hour before tea, pinching a single forward of point off Hamza.
He lost Dowrich, who faced 91 balls and struck six fours, lbw to Zahir approaching the first hour after lunch, and his departure triggered a slide which saw the last five wickets go down for just 53 runs.
Brooks was ninth out, missing a heave at Hamza and having his stumps shattered.
In reply, Ahmadi lashed seven fours and a six in a 75-ball knock as he put on 53 for the first wicket with Ibrahim Zadran (23), to give Afghanistan a solid start.
But Cornwall, introduced in the ninth over, got the breakthrough 10 overs later when Ibrahim offered no shot and was plumb lbw.
In Cornwall’s next over, Ihsanullah (1) was disastrously run out off the first ball and Rahmat Shah inside-edged a defensive stroke and was caught at short leg by Brooks without scoring.
When Ashgar Afghan also fell without scoring in Cornwall’s next over, also caught close in by Brooks, the home side had lost four wickets for six runs in the space of 13 deliveries.
Ahmadi and Nasir Janal (15) defied West Indies in a 37-run, fifth wicket partnership before Chase snatched three wickets in as many overs to spark another slump.
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