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King, Shepherd shine with bat but makeshift West Indies fall to Pakistan in final over

The West Indies cricket team conceded their three-match T20 International series away to Pakistan today, losing their second match in as many days at Karachi National Stadium.

An improved bunch with bat and ball today, stand-in captain Nicholas Pooran’s troops did not do quite enough to snatch a win, losing by nine runs.

Photo: West Indies batsman Brandon King top-scored with 67 runs today.
(Copyright AFP)

Once more, West Indies were forced to change the line-up for non-tactical reasons. Darren Bravo, who is suffering from illness (not Covid-19) according to the CWI Media, was unavailable again while batsman Devon Thomas was injured and replaced by leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr.

If the ‘Maroon Men’ had headed to Karachi with a ‘B’ team, they are probably closer to a ‘C’ squad by now. Yet, the players did not let themselves down today.

On Monday, Pakistan scored 200 for the loss of six wickets off their 20 overs to win by 63 runs. Today, the hosts had to settle for 172 for 8—and they needed a late flurry from Shadab Khan (28 off 12 ) to get there after Mohammad Rizwan (38 off 30), Haider Ali (31 off 34) and Iftikhar Ahmed (32 off 19) all got starts but none went on to post at least a half-century.

Odean Smith, the most expensive bowler yesterday with 1/56 off his four overs, snared 2/24 in his three overs today. And they were valuable scalps too, as his victims were Rizwan and Ali.

Photo: Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi took 3/26 to hold off West Indies today.

With the bat, West Indies kept the contest alive all the way to the final over although they were 150 for 9 and still 23 runs shy at the start of it. In the end, the visitors were 10 runs adrift of the victory target.

Credit is due to Brandon King, who put yesterday’s cheap dismissal behind him to blast his way to 67 (43b, 6 x 4, 3 x 6) while Pooran contributed a run-a-ball 26 and allrounder Romario Shepherd was still there at the end with an impressive 35 (19b, 2 x 4, 2 x 6).

The team performance was not good enough to deliver the desired ending. But West Indies fans will see today’s outcome as clear progress, perhaps even a step in the right direction.

And keep their fingers crossed that the trend will continue into Thursday’s third and final match.

Match Summary

Toss: Pakistan

Pakistan: 172/8 (Mohammad Rizwan 34, Iftikhar Ahmed 32; Odean Smith 2/24, Akeal Hosein 1/16);

West Indies: 163 all out (Brandon King 67, Romario Shepherd 35*; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3/26, Mohammad Wasim Jr 2/39).

Man-of-the-MatchShadab Khan

ResultPakistan won by 9 runs

Pakistan lead the three-match series 2-0

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