Despite an ugly loss in the first ODI, Pakistan kept their focus to outclass the West Indies in the second ODI to keep the three-match series alive.
By Jawad Hussain
GUYANA, April 9, 2017 (SNN 24/7) – Pakistan outplayed the West Indies by 30 runs in the second One-Day International at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Sunday to force the series decider.
The third and the final ODI will be played at the same venue on Tuesday.
The victory was attributed to the career-best performances by Babar Azam and Hassan Ali, the two Pakistani young guns who have already flexed their muscles and opened their wings to take a top flight in the international cricket.
Babar Azam played resolute innings, studded with seven boundaries and three sixes, which was his best of the five ODI hundreds he has scored in his brief career. Babar smashed 125 unbeaten runs from just 132 balls as he anchored the innings right to the last ball and dispatched it for a maximum.
He found the perfect partner in Imad Wasim who also exhibited his talent with the bat as the duo added 99 runs from the last 11.2 overs to take Pakistan from a miserable position into the match-winning one. Imad Wasim struck two boundaries and as many maximums in his 35-ball innings of 43 runs.
Pakistan’s innings started in a disastrous fashion with Kamran Akmal (21 off 27 – 2 fours) and Ahmed Shehzad (5 off 15) back in the hut only in the 9th over.
Babar Azam (125* off 132 – 7 fours, 3 sixes) was joined by all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez (32 off 50 – 2 fours, 1 six) as they added 69 runs for the third wicket. Shoaib Malik (9 off 17) tried to up the tempo and lost his wicket in the process. Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (26 off 26 – 3 fours) started well but then got stuck in the situation as Pakistan looked unlikely to post a 250-run total on the board at 5/183 off 38.4 overs.
Then came Imad Wasim who along with Babar Azam used the long handle to a great effect and they finished off in style by hitting 99 runs from the last 68 deliveries.
Shannon Gabriel (2/50), Devendra Bishoo (1/40), and Ashley Nurse (1/42) bowled exceptionally well but lacked support from Jason Holder (9-0-48-0) and Alzarri Joseph (9-0-69-1).
Pakistani bowlers stick to their game plan with the new ball and got wickets consistently as the West Indies looked miserable at 6/75 from 17.4 overs. Evin Lewis (13 off 14 – 2 fours), Chadwick Walton (10 off 9 – 2 fours), Shai Hope (15 off 12 – 3 fours), Kieran Powell (11 off 21), and Jonathan Carter (12 off 20 – 1 four) failed to stand the variation of Pakistan’s bowling attack.
The game looked all gone when the hero of the previous match Jason Mohammed (1 off 16) lost his wicket to Mohammad Hafeez with the total at 75 runs.
However, skipper Jason Holder (68 off 87 – 6 fours, 1 six) and Ashley Nurse (44 off 43 – 6 fours, 1 six) revived the innings with a 58-run partnership. Alzarri Joseph (15 off 29) also ensured a decent stay at the wicket with his captain to forge another 52-run partnership for the ninth wicket, which was their highest 9th wicket partnership against Pakistan.
Hassan Ali came back into the attack and got rid of the West Indian captain and Alzarri Joseph to hand Pakistan a commanding 74 runs triumph in the second ODI. The fast bowler finished with figures of 5/38. He became the second youngest bowler to register a five-wicket haul. This was also his second five-wicket haul after grabbing his first against Australia earlier this year.
Babar Azam was declared Man of the Match for his brilliant show with the bat and scoring his highest individual score in the ODI career.
DISCLAIMER: This news was first published on SportsNewsNetwork24/7.