Pakistan overcome challenging West Indies to lead series 1-0


Guyana :    Pakistan’s versatile bowling attack did just enough to restrain a rampant West Indies and come away with a seven-run victory in the second T20 International of the four-match series at the National Stadium in Guyana on Saturday.
Following a rain-ruined opening encounter in Barbados three days earlier, Babar Azam’s team will go into the third match of the series on Sunday, also at Providence, with a 1-0 lead.
Pooran’s explosive unbeaten 62 off 33 balls with six sixes and four fours kept the West Indies in with a chance of overcoming the lethargy of much of their innings, even to the final over when 20 runs were required to overhaul Pakistan’s total of 157 for eight.
However Shaheen Shah Afridi claimed the wicket of captain Kieron Pollard and then denied the rampant Pooran the opportunity to swing freely and lustily at the next three deliveries to ensure the visitors came away with the win with the hosts kept to 150 for four.
West Indies were again undone in their run chase by the number of scoreless deliveries, 47, in their innings, although nothing could take away from the outstanding bowling effort of Mohammad Hafeez.
Bowling the first over of the innings, the veteran off-spinning all-rounder bowled Andre Fletcher with his second ball and conceded just six runs across his four overs.
“Knowing these conditions and having played cricket here before in the Caribbean Premier League certainly helped as I knew it would be difficult for the batsmen,” said Hafeez at the end of the match.
“They are very powerful players so the challenge is always to keep a tight line every time.”
Pollard, who played the supporting role in a 70-run fourth-wicket partnership with Pooran to revive the West Indies chances, gave credit to his bowlers for limiting their opponents after he chose to put them in to bat.