World Cup 2019: West Indies signs off with win as Afghanistan remains winless

Chris Gayle played his final World Cup match on Thursday against Afghanistan. While he failed with the bat, the Jamaican helped the West Indies take control of the contest with the wicket of young wicketkeeper-batsman Ikram Ali Khil.

Chris Gayle didn't star with the bat in his final World Cup match, but picked the crucial wicket of Ikram Ali Khil, who was out for 86 but had put Afghanistan in a strong position chasing 312.   -  AFP

Chris Gayle removed Afghanistan top-scorer Ikram Alikhil with his tame off-breaks as the West Indies secured just its second win of a chastening World Cup campaign on Thursday.

The Caribbean side scored 311 for six in their 50 overs in Leeds and although the Afghans put up a brave fight, it ultimately went down by 23 runs.

Gayle, almost certainly playing in his final World Cup match at the age of 39, failed with the bat but struck with the ball, trapping Ali Khil lbw for 86 in the 36th over to put a huge dent in Afghanistan's slim hopes of victory.

Despite the victory, two-time former champion West Indies remain second-bottom of the 10-team table and will slink home with just two wins from nine matches.

As it happened

Afghanistan has flickered in spells in only its second World Cup -- going close against India and Pakistan -- but heads home with a dispiriting nine defeats out of nine.

The West Indies, which smashed 111 runs of the last 10 overs, had captain Jason Holder and Nicholas Pooran to thank for their acceleration after solid contributions from Evin Lewis (58), Shai Hope (77) and Shimron Hetmyer (39).

Gayle was caught behind after a slash against Dawlat Zadran for just seven and remains 10 runs short of Brian Lara's all-time West Indian record of 10,348 one-day international runs.

Pooran picked up where he left off against Sri Lanka, hitting 58 to add to his century in a losing cause earlier this week, Holder smashed a quickfire 45 while Carlos Brathwaite lashed 14 off four balls.

In reply, Alikhil put on 133 for the second wicket with Rahmat Shah (62) and there were notable contributions by Najibullah Zadran and Asghar Afghan but ultimately they did not have the batting firepower to get them over the line.

Paceman Kemar Roach was the pick of the West Indies bowlers, finishing with figures of 3-37 in his 10 overs.

West Indies began the tournament with a comprehensive seven-wicket win against Pakistan and many tipped it as a dark horse for the title, with a power-packed batting line-up and fearsome pace attack.

But it has been error-prone and lacklustre, failing to turn its promising positions into concrete results.

Afghanistan will head home with more experience under the belts but with major questions over its batting strength and its lack of quality seam bowlers.

Even the highly-rated Rashid Khan ended the tournament with just six wickets after taking 1-52 on Thursday.

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