Chase stars as Windies start new era with emphatic win

By Sports Desk November 06, 2019

Roston Chase made his highest ODI score after doing did damage with the ball as West Indies started a new era by cruising to a seven-wicket win over Afghanistan in Lucknow.

The Windies cruised to a target of 195 in their first game under the captain-coach partnership of Kieron Pollard and Phil Simmons, who is back for a second spell in charge.

Afghanistan were going well with Rahmat Shah (61) and Ikram Alikhil (58) at the crease but collapsed from 126-2 to 194 all out - debutant Romario Shepherd, Chase and Jason Holder taking two wickets apiece.

Chase (94) and Shai Hope (77 not out) put on 163 for the third wicket as West Indies got home with 21 balls to spare to lead the three-match series 1-0.

Sheldon Cottrell removed Hazratullah Zazai's leg stump with a yorker and Afghanistan were in trouble on 15-2 when the excellent Holder (2-21) got rid of Javed Ahmadi.

Ikram and Rahmat steadied the ship, the former taking a liking to the pace of the expensive Alzarri Joseph.

Rahmat clattered new boy Shepherd over his head for six and Ikram struck Joseph over the rope as he scored a 47-ball half-century, though he was then run out in schoolboy fashion when wandering out of his crease to congratulate his partner on reaching 50 when the ball was not dead.

Afghanistan capitulated in Rashid Khan's first ODI as skipper after the third-wicket stand of 111 came to an end, Chase (2-31) dismissing Rahmat as they lost eight wickets lost for 68 runs, Asghar Afghan (35) also run out.

Paceman Shepherd (2-32) struck twice as the last four wickets fell for three runs, yet it looked to be game on when the Windies were 25-2 with Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer back in the pavilion.

However, Hope and Chase - promoted to number four - applied themselves well to take the wind out of Afghanistan's sails.

Opener Hope was content to accumulate steadily as Chase played more expansively, hitting 11 boundaries but missing out on three figures when he was cleaned up by Mujeeb Ur Rahman, leaving Nicholas Pooran to come out and hit the winning runs.

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    It was not long ago that Roston Chase was seen as one of a growing number of match-winning players in the West Indies ranks.

    Since that time, however, Chase has suffered long dips in form and has not done much saving.

    Chase, from 22 One Day Internationals averages 28.28 with the bat and has scored 396 runs but has scored just two half-centuries to date.

    Against Afghanistan in a recently concluded One Day International in Lucknow, India where the visitors thumped the home team 3-0, he was immense.

    Chase began with scoring 94 as the West Indies easily won the first ODI by seven wickets. Earlier he had bowled economically to end with figures of 2-31.

    In the second ODI, Chase failed with the bat, only scoring nine as the West Indies only managed 247, but his 3-30 was instrumental in limiting the reply from Afghanistan to 200.

    Chase was at it again on Monday,first bowling economically to end with figures of 1-24, before going on to bludgeon the bowlers, scoring 42 from just 32 deliveries to help seal the whitewash with a five-wicket victory.

    Speaking after the game, Chase explained that skipper, Kieron Pollard, had reminded him to stay focused on the task ahead of him.

    "Skipper told me last night we'll bat in a different position, but he said, 'Don't worry. Just concentrate on your bowling, and if you get a chance to bat, show that’.” Chase explained.

    Pollard was referring to the fact that he would bat ahead of Chase in the final ODI for the first time in the series, and that he should not change what he was doing because of it.

    “He [Pollard] said, 'Ros, just take over and play at a run-a-ball.' I did that, and put away the boundary balls,” Chase said of his innings.

    As for his effectiveness with the ball, Chase says he has begun to understand how to change his pace to deal with different batsmen and, of course, different conditions.

    “I was just trying to vary my pace, and the pitch was helping out a lot. Each game, our bowlers came to the party. This is my first series win in five years, and I'm quite happy for that."

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