Hope ton leads West Indies to series sweep over Afghanistan
Shai Hope struck an emphatic century as West Indies outclassed Afghanistan in the third ODI to complete a 3-0 series whitewash.
Hope's serene knock saw him share a vital 71-run stand with Roston Chase to take the tourists over the line with eight balls to spare in Lucknow.
The opening batsman registered the seventh century of his nascent yet flourishing ODI career as the islanders beat Afghanistan by a margin of five wickets.
Kieron Pollard, who was recently appointed West Indies' white-ball captain, reacted to his team's first ODI series win in five years by heaping praise on the young squad.
"We came here with a mission and specific roles for players, and all the players deserve credit," he said.
"Winning is a habit, and anything that we want to do as a team is a process, and it's something we had to improve in a period of time."
West Indies' chase of the modest target of 250 was not without a few hiccups as spin sensation Mujeeb Ur Rahman snaffled a couple of wickets to reduce the opposition to four for two.
Despite the early setback, Hope stood steadfast in his compact technique and showed great resolve to combat the spin barrage unleashed by Afghanistan on a slow track.
The opening batsman received ample support from debutant Brandon King before skipper Pollard upped the ante with a 26-ball 32.
Chase continued his good form in the series as he struck three fours in his breezy 42 from just 32 deliveries.
Afghanistan find solace in Nabi-Afghan stand
Afghanistan were no match to a rejuvenated West Indies side in all three games as they floundered under the leadership of new captain Rashid Khan.
Amidst an ordinary performance from the top-order barring a lively half-century from Hazratullah Zazai, veterans Mohammad Nabi and Asghar Afghan forged an outstanding 127-run partnership.
Their healthy contributions gave Afghanistan a middling total of 249-7 to defend after rescuing the side from 118-5.
"We were just trying to be better in each and every game. There were more positives from us in today's game," Rashid said.
"The kind of finishing we got from Asghar and Nabi gave us a chance to win the game. We should have defended this total, but Hope played without giving us any chances," he admitted.
West Indies' bowling charge was spearheaded by Keemo Paul in the absence of Jason Holder, as the former picked three wickets for 44 runs and delivered two maiden overs.