Lucknow – Rahkeem Cornwall, the heaviest man in Test cricket, took seven wickets as West Indies skittled out Afghanistan for 187 on the first day of their one-off Test on Wednesday.
West Indies reached 68-2 at the end of the day, further boosting captain Jason Holder’s decision to send Afghanistan in to bat at their “home” ground in the Indian city of Lucknow which was engulfed in dangerous levels of air pollution.
The 26-year-old Cornwall, who hits about 140 kilograms (308 pounds) on the scales and is 1.96 metres (six feet five inches) 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.
Ibrahim Zadran was the first to fall with the score on 28, caught by Holder for 17 at leg slip attempting a sweep off Cornwall.
Javed Ahmadi made 39, including a six and five fours, before he was caught by Shamarh Brooks at deep long-off from a Jomel Warrican delivery with the score on 84.
Ihsanullah became Cornwall’s second victim when he edged a forward prod to Shai Hope at slip to be out for 24 just before lunch.
Afghanistan struggled to generate momentum after the break, with Cornwall claiming three more victims as Rahmat Shah and Asghar Afghan managed just four runs and Nasir Jamal two.
Afsar Zazai fared better, reaching 32 before Cornwall grabbed his sixth wicket in the last ball before tea and his seventh when Yamin Ahmadzai fell for 18.
Afghanistan’s spinners struck early when Amir Hamza and Rashid Khan picked up Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope, before John Campbell and Shamarh Brooks steadied the ship.
Afghanistan, who were awarded Test status in 2017, picked two debutants in their starting eleven — middle-order batsman Nasir Jamal and left-arm spinner Amir Hamza.
The Afghans claimed their maiden Test victory in March when they beat fellow newcomers Ireland before defeating Bangladesh in September.
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