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T20 World Cup: Nicholas Pooran smashes West Indies to dominant win over Afghanistan to end group stage

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Nicholas Pooran scored 98 runs from 53 balls as the West Indies made 218-5 and beat Afghanistan by 104 runs on Monday in the final match in the group stage at the T20 World Cup.

Both teams had already qualified for the Super Eight stage but the West Indies finished unbeaten and topped Group C.

Obed McCoy took 3-14 as Afghanistan was bowled out for 114 in 16.2 overs and the West Indies sent a message to future rivals in the play-off stage. The West Indies play their first Super Eight match against fellow hosts USA on Wednesday.

Pooran's score was the highest individual total at the tournament and carried him past 2,000 runs in T20 internationals.

He hit eight sixes and six fours in an explosive innings which propelled the West Indies to the highest team total at the tournament.

"There were many important moments and at the end of the day it's all about team success," Pooran said. "I felt like it was my day and I had to take the responsibility. When it's your day, you have to make it your day."

Pooran took advantage of perfect batting conditions at the Daren Sammy Stadium, launching shots to all parts of the ground and taking 62 runs from blows which pierced or cleared the boundaries.

Afghanistan had played their previous matches on difficult, turning pitches on which seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi and their spinners had dominated. They bowled out Uganda for 58, New Zealand for 75 and Papua New Guinea for 95.

The West Indies surpassed the highest of those totals Monday in fewer than seven overs. The fourth over, bowled by Azmatullah Omarzai, went for 36 runs, equalling the T20I record for the highest total from an over.

After five overs the West Indies were 85-1 and 92-1 at the end of the six-over power play, the highest total in a power play in T20 World Cup history.

Pooran hit sixes from the second and third balls of the 20th over to reach 97, but just as a century seemed inevitable, he was run out going back for a second run from the fourth ball, beaten by a direct hit at the striker's end.

Farooqi who is the leading wicket-taker at the tournament finished with 0-38, captain Rashid Khan 0-45 and Omarzai 1-41. Gulbadin's 2-14 from two overs stood out as a shining light among the gloom of the Afghanistan bowlers.

There was no reprieve for Afghanistan when they batted. Rahmanullah Gurbaz was out to the third ball of the innings during a wicket maiden bowled by Akeal Hossein. After the power play, Afghanistan were 45-1 and after 10 overs they had been reduced to 66-5 as McCoy dismantled the top order.

"The way they batted, scoring around 90 runs in the power play, it is tough to come back from that," Rashid said. "It's good this loss happened at this stage, not in a do-or-die game."

The Super 8s stage of the Men's T20 World Cup gets under way on Wednesday when the USA face South Africa in Antigua, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 3pm (first ball 3.30pm).

England's Super 8s opener takes place against co-hosts the West Indies later the same day in St Lucia, live on Sky Sports Cricket at 1am (first ball 1.30am) in the early hours of Thursday morning.

England are in Group 2 for the eight-team second stage of the tournament, alongside the West Indies, USA and South Africa.

Making up Group 1 are Afghanistan and India, as well as Australia and Bangladesh, who face each other on Thursday.

The top two teams from each group progress through to the semi-finals.

Watch every match from the T20 World Cup, including the final in Barbados on Saturday June 29, live on Sky Sports.

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