Pakistan’s versatile bowling attack did enough to stop Nicholas Pooran and clinched a seven-run win over West Indies in the second T20 International of the four-match series at the National Stadium in Guyana on Saturday.
After a rain-ravaged opening match in Barbados three days ago, Babar Azam’s team will take a 1-0 lead in Providence in the third match of the series on Sunday.
Pooran’s unbeaten 62 off 33 balls, studded with six sixes and four fours, gave West Indies a chance to recover from the sluggishness of most of their innings, even reaching the final over when Pakistan’s 157 for eight. 20 runs were needed.
However, Shaheen Shah Afridi claimed the wicket of captain Kieron Pollard and then largely denied Pooran the opportunity to freely and freely in the next three balls to ensure that the hosts won 150 for four. be able to achieve
West Indies were again undone in their innings by 47, the number of unscored balls in their run chase, although nothing could take away Mohammad Hafeez’s excellent bowling effort.
Bowling the first over of the innings, the veteran off-spinning all-rounder bowled Andre Fletcher on his second ball and conceded just six runs in his four overs.
“Knowing these conditions and playing cricket here in the Caribbean Premier League definitely helped because I knew it would be difficult for the batsmen,” Hafeez said at the end of the match.
“He’s a very powerful player so the challenge is always to keep a link every now and then.”
Pollard, who played a supporting role in a 70-run fourth-wicket partnership with Pooran to revive West Indies’ chances, credited his bowlers for limiting his opponents after choosing to bat.
– ‘Staring Down Barrel’ –
Before putting a positive spin on the run chase, he said, “We were staring at a barrel of 170-plus total and I was really happy with the way the bowlers came back in the latter part of their innings.”
“We had to try and blast till the end but it didn’t work out though the way Evin (Lewis) and Hetty (Shimron Hetmyer) kept things going in the middle overs was quite enjoyable.”
West Indies suffered a setback when opener Evin Lewis retired hurt for 35 in the middle of the innings.
Enjoying the win, Babar Azam felt that his team should have scored more runs on the board.
“We were 10-15 runs short but we have to thank the bowlers for how they kept the West Indies batsmen in check,” he said.
“Losing one wicket after another is something we have to improve in the last overs and we hope to do better in the last two games,” he added.
It was Jason Holder and Dwayne Bravo who combined put the brakes on Pakistan’s scoring rate.
Holder, the former captain, took four for 26, while Bravo, the veteran all-rounder and leading wicket-taker in all T20 cricket, claimed two for 24 as the tourists took a solid platform provided by Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. lost. .
Babar scored 51 runs in 58 balls with the help of two sixes and four fours, which was the top score of the innings.
He added 67 runs for the third wicket with Rizwan after Sharjeel Khan and Rizwan scored 56 to set the stage for a challenging target.
However, the flow of the visiting team’s innings was interrupted by Rizwan’s death by way of run out for 46.
Pakistan lost four wickets in eight balls in a mad dash to lift the flagging scoring rate in the final overs as the discipline, accuracy and clever variations of Holder and Bravo brought their reward.