Afghanistan lost their last and final group game against West Indies by a meagre 23 runs at the Headingly Cricket Ground on Thursday.
Chasing a challenging 312-run target, opener Rahmat Shah (62 off 78) and Ikram Ali Khil (86 off 93) contributed valiantly but the lower middle-order failed to click as the minnows ended their campaign on a losing note.
Chasing the target, Afghanistan received an early jolt as Kemar Roach dismissed opener and skipper Gulabdin Naib (5 off 6) in the very second over. However, despite the early success, Windies bowlers were seen struggling as Shah and incoming batter Ikram forged a strong partnership for the second wicket.
The duo added 133 runs together as it seemed the team would overhaul the target before Carlos Brathwaite broke the developing partnership in the 27th over, packing back a good-looking Shah to reduce the Afghans to 138/2.
Later, a 52-run partnership between Najibullah Zadran and Ikram guided the Afghans near the 200-run mark but this time Chris Gayle came with a breakthrough as he sent back Ikram with Afghanistan on 189 runs. Six runs later, Zadran also became a victim of Windies as he fell short of his crease while taking a single.
Afghanistan went into deep trouble as Mohammad Nabi (2 off 6) also fell soon and wickets kept on falling for Afghanistan at one end but Asghar Afghan (40 off 32) kept them in the hunt. However, he couldn't help much as the entire team was bundled out for 288 runs, failing to cross the line by just 23 runs.
Brathwaite was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4/63 while Roach scalped three for 37 runs.
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