Match Report:


Windies warm up for Super Eight with tournament's highest score

Nicholas Pooran fell two short of the 2024 T20 World Cup's first century as the co-hosts kept their unbeaten run alive

Nicholas Pooran fell just short of the first century of the T20 World Cup as West Indies overpowered Afghanistan by 104 runs in the final match before the Super Eight stage.

With both sides unbeaten and qualification for the next round already secured, just Group C bragging rights were on the line as Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan's call to bowl first backfired.

Pooran smashed 98 from 53 balls before he was run out in the final over in St Lucia as the co-hosts amassed 5-218 – the highest total of the tournament so far.

And it proved too much for previously unbeaten Afghanistan, who rarely looked like challenging and were shot out for 114 in the 17th over.

Despite losing Brandon King early, the West Indies got off to a flying start – Azmatullah Omarzai going for 41 runs from his two overs as Johnson Charles and Pooran brought up the 100 in the eighth over.

That included a 36-run over off Omarzai that featured three sixes, five no balls and four leg byes.

Charles fell for 43 from 27 balls, with Shai Hope (25) and captain Rovman Powell (26) keeping the momentum going alongside Pooran.

It took an incredible direct hit from the outfield to end the wicketkeeper's stay, finally out three balls from the end attempting a second run to keep the strike after crashing eight sixes and six fours.

Afghanistan's reply got off to a slow start, Rahmanullah Gurbaz falling amid eight straight dot balls to start the innings.

Ibrahim Zadran hit 38 from 28 balls and Azmatullah 23 from 19, but wickets fell regularly throughout, Obed McCoy taking 3-14.

"The way they batted, scoring around 90 runs in the Powerplay, it is tough to come back from that," Rashid said post-match. "But in the middle overs we did well and it was good to restrict them under 220."

West Indies stay in St Lucia for their opening Super Eight match against England on Wednesday night (10.30am Thursday AEST), while Afghanistan face India in Barbados on Thursday (12.30am Friday AEST).

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