Karim Janat came in from the cold to take a starring role Saturday as Afghanistan beat West Indies by 41 runs to level their three-match T20I series.
The 21-year-old was just a substitute at the initial clash in Lucknow that West Indies easily won but he also took five wickets as West Indies were confined to 106-8 from the chase for Afghanistan’s 147-7 in the next game.
Janat’s 26 from 18 balls, including five fours, was also the joint-highest score for Afghanistan along with opener Hazratullah Zazai.
“I was the 12th man for the last game and that was the best way for me to see what the line should be. I had a plan in mind and I stuck to it,” said Janat, whose change of pace length claimed valuable wickets including Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer. “On this wicket, variation is a good weapon to have.”
Afghanistan had looked on course for a bigger total but Kesrick Williams took two wickets in two balls to claim openers Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz after they put on 42.
Some of Afghanistan’s mid-order wickets went quickly and with dew making bowling hard, Windies skipper Kieron Pollard should have thought that his side’s unbeaten record at the tour so far was safe.
But medium pace bowler Janat was well-supported from another Afghan bowlers and the West Indies batsmen appeared lethargic as they chased a run-rate that immediately got out of control.
“At the midway, we were good with 147,” said Pollard. “Their batsmen came hard at us, but we came back well, especially Kesrick. We cannot fault the bowlers. We didn’t get a good start in the powerplay, and we lost wickets every time we were trying to be aggressive.We only have 24 hours wrong the rights, and hopefully we can come back and do these things right “
The last match is also in Lucknow, where Afghanistan play their home games, on Sunday. West Indies conquer Afghanistan 3-0 from the ODI series.