West Indies signed off from the Cricket World Cup with a 23-run win over Afghanistan at Headingley – but Chris Gayle missed out on a place in the history books.
Victory meant the Caribbean side bookended their campaign in England with successes, having beaten Pakistan in their opener.
The rest of their campaign was better forgotten, however, and this could have provided another low moment until a mid-innings collapse from Afghanistan handed over the initiative.
Despite posting 311 for six, West Indies lost opener Gayle for seven. It was a third single-figure score of a disappointing World Cup for the veteran batsman and he finished the tournament as his team’s fourth highest scorer.
And it meant he remains second on West Indies’ all-time list of ODI run-scorers, stranded perhaps forever now 10 runs behind Brian Lara.
Gayle said before the World Cup this would be his goodbye to ODI cricket but the 39-year-old has since suggested he intends to play on. But in this sort of form, West Indies might do well to consider other options.
This was surely a farewell to the World Cup for the showman and, after he was bogged down by Afghanistan’s attack and looked to clout Dawlat Zadran over the off-side field, he nicked behind to Ikram Alikhil.
Evin Lewis showed better patience to make 58, Shai Hope plundered 77 and Nicholas Pooran scored 58 – with Gayle the only West Indies batsman to lose his wicket for a score below 30.
Afghanistan were then bowled out for 288, their chief contribution coming from 18-year-old Alikhil who reached 86 until he was defeated by Gayle’s off spin.