Babar, bowlers set up victory over West Indies

SUMMARY: Pakistan 157-8 from 20 overs (Babar Azam 51, Mohammad Rizwan 46, Sharjeel Khan 20, Jason Holder 4-26, Dwayne Bravo 2-24) vs West Indies 150-4 from 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 62*, Lewis 35, Mohammad Hafeez 1-6, Hasan Ali 1-32, Mohammad Wasim 1-32, Shaheen Shah Afridi 1-44)


Captain Babar Azam stroked a fifty and his bowlers backed up brilliantly as Pakistan took a 1-0 lead in the four-match T20 International series against West Indies.

Playing in the second game of the series at Providence on Saturday- after the opening match was abandoned because of rain in Barbados on Wednesday- Pakistan won by seven runs after making 157-8.

Babar struck 51 off 40 balls, his 20th T20 International fifty, and the in-form wicketkeeper/opening batsman Mohammad Rizwan made 46 off 36 to highlight Pakistan’s innings.

At 113-1 in the 15th over Pakistan seemed on course for 170+ total, however, West Indies pulled things back nicely after a 17-minute rain break to stymie the visitors’ progress.

Nicholas Pooran of West Indies hits a six during the 2nd T20I match between the West Indies and Pakistan at Guyana National Stadium in Providence, Guyana, on July 31, 2021. (Photo by Randy Brooks/AFP)

Jason Holder led the West Indies bowling comeback, finishing with career-best figures of 4-26, and Dwayne Bravo took 2-24.

Although West Indies dropped a few catches in the first half of the innings, the bowlers were brilliantly backed up in the field at the back-end, the highlight being a sensational one-handed catch on the boundary by Guyanese Romario Shepherd.

In the run-chase, West Indies managed just 31-2 in the Powerplay, losing Andrew Fletcher and Chris Gayle cheaply. Evin Lewis had to retire hurt on 35 off 33 and West Indies were met with some tight bowling, led by veteran off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez.

Although Nicholas Pooran produced a career-best effort of 62* off 33, which included six sixes, Pakistan bowlers kept their composure, stitching together 50 dot balls in the innings.

Hafeez, who bowled 19 dots in his spell, finished with 1-6 to cop the Man-of-the-Match award.

The third and penultimate game of the series is set for Sunday from 11:00h at the same venue.

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