48 overs Pakistan 269 for 9 (Shadab 86, Imam 62, Pooran 4-48) vs West Indies
Pakistan rocked Windies’ confidence after the boyz from the Caribbean walloped Netherland 3-nil in a 3 ODI series nearly two weeks ago.
For the first time in the series, the host country appeared shaky at the start; however, the middle order stepped up to put their team in a winnable position with an on-par score of 269 — thanks to Shadab Khan with a 78-ball knock of 86 runs.
West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran played a magical hand with the ball, which led to Pakistan’s middle-order collapse, cornering the opposition batters in a surprise bout of spin and bounce as his first four ODI wickets left Pakistan tottering at 117 for 5.
West Indies never got started in their run chase as Pakistan’s bowlers hampered the progress of all their batters.
The debutant Shahnawaz Dahani broke the opening partnership of 24 between Hope and Mayers by sending the latter back to the dugout for a mere five runs.
The reliable Shai Hope also did not last long either, as Khushdil Shah’s great catch near the boundary put the Windies further on the back foot.
West Indies found themselves struggling at 69/4, with Mohammad Nawaz also cashing in on the wickets.
West Indies lower middle order tried to make amends, but the bowler Shadab blighted their progress.
Rising star Akeal Hosein attempted to dig the West Indies out of sinking sand, but the depth proved too much.
His cameo knock would see him clearing the rope on six occasions to move to 60, but with the rest of the batters crumbling at the other end, West Indies didn’t have to wait long before the fat lady sang to their 53-run demise.
Babar Azam, Pakistan captain, said at the close,” We could execute the plans and are giving 100% in all departments, and the results are there to see. Nawaz’s bowling in the second match was vital, and that decided the series for us. So it was the best for us in the series. We had to check the bench strength as well as utilize the seniors. We are trying different combinations with bat and bowl. We will try to keep continuity and keep testing. We have different areas of improvement, as each of the three games showed. We hope to learn from our mistakes and get better. (On his form) I try to play positive cricket and try to play the situation. The conditions were different in each of the games.
Meanwhile, losing Windies captain, Nicholas Pooran had this to say “The last two games were disappointing for us. We played poorly with the bat. We did well as a team and going forward, that will be the template. (Akeal Hosein) He is someone who has been working hard with the ball and with the bat. He tells everyone he is a batsman, and well done to him. Really proud of the players to take on the challenge. Looking forward to being smart with the body in the series against Bangladesh.”
Imam-ul-Haq was named player of the series, while Shadab Khan was dubbed player of the match.
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Yvad Billings Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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