West Indies off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall spins Afghanistan out with career-best seven-wicket haul on day one Test match
West Indies off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall took a career-best 7-75 in only his second Test match to help bowl out Afghanistan for 187 as spinners dominated the first day off their one-off Test match on Wednesday.
The stocky 26-year-old Cornwall engineered Afghanistan’s top-order collapse by taking five wickets during his lengthy first spell of 21 overs. He snared two more wickets after a brief break.
Cornwall, who hits about 140kg (308 pounds) on the scales and is 1.96 metres (6ft 5in) tall, packed a heavyweight punch with his off-spin.
“I was just looking to put the ball in the right areas. Just try to stay as balanced as possible,” Cornwall said at the end of the day in which his 7-75 haul was the best for a West Indies spinner in nearly five decades.
Windies captain Jason Holder had decided to bowl first on a turning wicket in the northern Indian city, and his side had early trouble with the bat to reach stumps at 2-68 with both wickets falling to Afghanistan spinners. John Campbell is 30 not out while Shamarh Brooks was unbeaten on 19.
Out-of-form opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite (11) fell lbw to debutant left-arm spinner Amir Hamza and Shai Hope (7) got a thick edge to slip off leg-spinner Rashid Khan as spinners took 10 of the 12 wickets on the first day.
Afghanistan batsmen had early success against seamer Kemar Roach, who didn’t hit the right lengths in hazy conditions
#AFGvWI 🗣”I have to cherish this day. I will remember this day for the rest of my life and keep getting performances like this as the journey goes on” – Rahkeem ‘Jimbo’ Cornwall on his maiden 5 wicket haul pic.twitter.com/9E0CJncu1j
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) November 27, 2019
But Cornwall struck a crucial blow just before lunch when he had Ihsanullah (24) caught at slip as Afghanistan slumped to 3-90 after moving comfortably to 1-84.
Afghanistan slid further to 7-111 with Cornwall running through the middle order.
Zazai and Hamza added 54 runs for the eighth-wicket stand before Cornwall further dented Afghanistan by taking the wicket of Zazai, who didn’t offer a shot to a ball that went straight on.
Holder was rewarded for his disciplined 17 overs when he had Hamza edging to the wicketkeeper and finished with 2-22 as Cornwall wrapped up the innings by having Yamin Ahmadzai (18) caught at the long off boundary.
Afghanistan are chasing a rare record by becoming the first nation to have won three of their first four Test matches. They lost against India inside two days in their inaugural Test match but have beaten Ireland and Bangladesh in their past two Tests.