WI vs AFG: Romario Shepherd leaves West Indies camp for birth of second child

West Indies are without their star all-rounder Romario Shepherd in their last T20 World Cup 2024 Group match against Afghanistan on Monday, June 17 (Tuesday, June 18 in India).

Caribbean skipper Rovman Powell said that the 29-year-old Shepherd returned home since his wife Tia Terencia Joseph is set to give birth to their second child. The couple already has a son, named Romauldo Shepherd.

Shepherd is expected to rejoin the co-hosts on Tuesday, June 18 (West Indies). Powell acknowledged his teammate’s responsibility towards his family and talked about the healthy culture in the West Indies team.

“Romario is welcoming his child. That’s what we embrace as a team, to let him go, since family is very important,” Powell said.

Left-arm fast bowler Obed McCoy replaced Shepherd in the playing XI. Shai Hope has also replaced Roston Chase as West Indies look to end the Group stage unbeaten and on top of the table.

West Indies thrashed Afghanistan by 104 runs in the final group stage game of the T20 World Cup on Monday.

Nicholas Pooran’s blistering 98 off 53 balls (six fours, eight sixes) highlighted a dominant batting effort by West Indies as they piled up 218 for five after being put in as the two Super Eight qualifiers sparred in advance of the next phase of the tournament starting on Wednesday.

Afghanistan were bundled out for 114 off 16.2 overs in reply.

Coming to the middle in the second over after the demise of Brandon King, Pooran and hometown hero Johnson Charles (43 off 27 balls) accelerated at supersonic speed in lifting the total to 92-1 by the sixth over.

It was the highest total ever in the Powerplay overs of a T20 World Cup since the first of the eight editions was played in South Africa in 2007.

That period of carnage included 36 off an over from seamer Azmatullah Omarzai, whose wayward bowling in the fourth over of the innings reflected the confused state of an Afghan team that previously had things much their own way in the field in their first three matches in the group.

But it was Omarzai who ended Pooran’s pursuit of the century in the final over of the innings, his direct hit to the striker’s end from deep cover leaving the left-hander just short of his ground as he dived to the crease in attempting to complete a second run.

There was some consolation in getting to 2,000 T20I runs towards the end of his innings, but most importantly it represented a return to his best at a time when the West Indies are likely to need his phenomenal power-hitting in the Super Eight stage.

With all the frontline Afghan bowlers taking a hammering it was left to Gulbadin Naib to help pull things back with 2-14 off two overs, the wickets of Shai Hope and captain Rovman Powell helping to put a measure of restraint on the rampant West Indies batting.

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