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Windies draw inspiration from past glory as they close World Cup campaign against Afghanistan

Thursday, July 04, 2019

LEEDS, England — West Indies can draw on past moments of glory at Headingley when they close out a miserable 2019 ICC World Cup against Afghanistan today, says assistant coach Roddy Estwick.

Match time is 10:30 am (4:30 am Jamaica time).

Two years ago, West Indies entered the second Test against England in Leeds low on confidence after being hammered at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

But Shai Hope, who is in this team, scored a century in both innings and Test specialist Kraigg Brathwaite hit a hundred as well as 95 in the West Indies' unlikely five-wicket victory.

“I remember our backs were against the wall against England. We had lost badly at Birmingham. Everybody was saying the final day that we were going to lose to England badly [again].

“We chased down [322], so hopefully tomorrow with backs against the wall we can come up with that kind of performance and we can finish on a high,” Estwick said during yesterday's press conference.

Today's contest, between the two teams lowest on the table and eliminated from semi-final contention, is the deadest of dead rubbers.

West Indies are ninth with three points after getting a win in their opening game against Pakistan and a point in the rained off game against South Africa. They have lost their other six encounters.

Afghanistan, widely regarded the minnows at the tournament, have lost all eight games.

The teams both made it to the World Cup via the qualification route. And that's where the Afghans have an advantage, beating West Indies in the final of the qualifiers last year.

The Caribbean side's assistant coach said players are still in a good mood even after Sri Lanka condemned them to their sixth loss of the tournament, last time out at Chester-le-Street on Monday.

“Surprisingly, driving down from Durham, after the loss, the mood in the camp was still good. The boys on the bus were still playing dominoes, the spirit in the dressing room was tremendous.

“So we're happy from that point of view. Obviously, we're not happy losing games, but we started to build something, and once we can remain patient and we can keep building.”

Afghanistan Captain Gulbadin Naib said his side, with a battery of decent spinners, could be impactful if the pitch is dry.

“[If the] the wicket tomorrow is same like the last one, maybe it's very difficult for them. But if we bowl the right areas — that would be the key point. Hopefully, tomorrow will be the same wicket like the last one we played against Pakistan,” Naib told reporters.

— Sanjay Myers