West Indies produced their best batting performance of the Homage Series today, after setting Pakistan a total of 207 for 3 in their T20 International at the Karachi National Stadium—just hours after the Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Pakistan Cricket Boards agreed to postpone the remainder of the white ball series until next June, due to a half-dozen positive Covid-19 tests.
However, the ‘Maroon Men’ could not defend the figure as Pakistan bettered their previous best run chase of 205 for 1 away to South Africa by smashing their way to 208 for 3 with seven balls to spare.
It ended a bitter-sweet tour by the Caribbean outfit who were buoyed by some promising displays from up-and-coming players although they rarely looked like getting the better of their hosts.
They certainly left their mark on the Pakistani bowlers, though.
After running Pakistan close on Tuesday when they came within two balls of overhauling their hosts’ target of 172 for 8, the West Indian batsmen started today’s affair in blistering fashion.
Openers Brandon King and Shamarh Brooks managed 66 runs off the Powerplay—a record against Pakistan—before King was bowled by Mohammed Wasim for 43. It was King’s second successive knock of note in this series, after he walloped his way to 67 on Tuesday.
Captain Nicholas Pooran kept his foot on the accelerator as he and Brooks put on 33 for the second wicket off 22 balls before Brooks went for 49, caught off Shahnawaz Dahani’s bowling.
Pooran finished with 64 runs (37b, 2 x 4, 6 x 6) while Darren Bravo, in his first outing of the tour after being sidelined by illness, contributed 34 (27b, 2 x 4) as West Indies set Pakistan a daunting 208-run target.
Only Pooran was without his best bowler, Akeal Hosein, who joined Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shai Hope, Justin Greaves and Kyle Mayers in isolation yesterday after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
West Indies debutant spinner Gudakesh Motie thought he had the prize wicket of Mohammad Rizwan off the very first ball of the innings, only for the television replay to show that the delivery, though on line, was a smidgen too high.
Rizwan went on to score 87 (45b, 10 x 4, 3 x 6) before he was caught behind, top-edging Dominic Drakes high for Pooran to run around and pouch the catch. With that innings, his 13th half-century in the current calendar year, Rizan became the first T20I player to score 2,000 runs in a calendar year. he also posted a 158-run partnership for the first wicket today with captain Babar Azam (79 off 53b, 9 x 4, 2 x 6).
Pakistan were in the driver’s seat thereafter and Asif Ali saw them home with 21 runs off seven balls—a cameo that included a straightforward dropped catch by Rovman Powell, which was not the only embarrassing misfield by either team in this series.
Motie did not get a wicket but was the West Indies’ most economical bowler, his four overs going for 29. Drakes was the only other bowler to go for under 10 an over, as he finished with 1/37.
West Indies were beaten but, despite the whitewash, not disgraced—considering the tumultuous circumstances in which they were asked to perform.
Their next international engagement is scheduled for 8 January 2022 when they host the Republic of Ireland in the first of three One-day Internationals (ODI) in Kingston, Jamaica.
Toss: West Indies
West Indies: 207 for 3 (Nicholas Pooran 64, Shamarh Brooks 49, Brandon King 43; Mohammad Wasim 2/44);
Pakistan: 208 for 3 (Mohammad Rizwan 87, Babar Azam 79; Odean Smith 1/34, Dominic Drakes 1/37).
Man-of-the-Match: Mohammad Rizwan
Man-of-the-Series: Mohammad Rizwan
Result: Pakistan won by 7 wkts
Pakistan won the three-match series 3-0