sports
Thursday Dec 16 2021
By
Web Desk

Pak vs WI: Babar, Rizwan power Pakistan to series sweep against West Indies

By
Web Desk
Pakistan´s captain Babar Azam (L) and his teammate Mohammad Rizwan run between the wickets during the third Twenty20 international cricket match between Pakistan and West Indies at the National Stadium in Karachi on December 16, 2021. — AFP
Pakistan´s captain Babar Azam (L) and his teammate Mohammad Rizwan run between the wickets during the third Twenty20 international cricket match between Pakistan and West Indies at the National Stadium in Karachi on December 16, 2021. — AFP

Pakistan's opening pair Mohammad Rizwan and skipper Babar Azam's 158-run opening stand on Thursday powered their side to a series sweep  of 3-0 as they beat the Windies by 7 wickets.

The Windies had handed an ample 208-run target to Pakistan after skipper Nicholas Pooran decided to bat first in the final match at the National Stadium, Karachi.

But the undeterred openers scored 50+ runs each, leaving the Windies bowlers under pressure. Babar scored 79 runs off 53 balls with the help of nine 4s and two 6s, while Rizwan made 87 runs off 45 balls and smashed 10 4s and three 6s.

The Windies bowlers were finally able to break their partnership when Odean Smith dismissed Babar in the 16th over. Rizwan was the next to go down as Dominic Drakes took his scalp in the 18th over.

After their dismissal, Fakhar Zaman was sent back to the pavilion in the 18th over, but Asif Ali (21) did not let the team down and sailed Pakistan to victory.

West Indies' innings

Pooran had played a captain's knock as his half-century powered the West Indies to an ample 207-3 total against Pakistan in the third and final T20I.

The decision to bat first proved fruitful for the Windies as their openers — Brandon King and Shamarh Brooks — gave them a good start against Pakistani bowlers.

The openers managed to get 92 runs on the board, as King hit 43 runs — seven 4s and two 6s — off 21 balls and Brooks made 49 runs — two 4s and four 6s — off 31 balls before they were sent packing.

After the dismissal of the openers, Pooran came to the ground and managed to pull off an impressive knock as he hit 64 runs off 37 balls, with two 4s and six 6s.

Darren Bravo also kept the score board ticking as he added 34 runs to the Windies' total. 

The Pakistani bowlers failed to impress today, with Mohammad Wasim taking two wickets and Shahnawaz Dahani picking up one scalp — his first international wicket at home.

The match had resumed after it was hanging in the balance as some Windies players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Later, all of the Windies players and officials tested negative for the virus, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that the match was back on track.

Moreover, the ODI series between Pakistan and West Indies — scheduled from Dec 18-22 — has been postponed to and rescheduled for early June 2022, after several Windies players tested positive for COVID-19 during the ongoing three-match T20 series.

The PCB and Cricket West Indies (CWI), in a joint statement, said the decision was made after considering both the teams’ welfare as well as limited resources in the West Indies side for the ODIs.

Five more positive cases were reported in the West Indies camp following Wednesday’s PCR testing, raising the total number of positive cases to nine since their arrival in Karachi on December 9, the statement said.

Squads

Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Muhammad Hasnain, Shahnawaz Dahani.

West Indies: Brandon King (captain), Darren Bravo, Nicholas Pooran, Shamarh Brooks, Rovman Powell, Odean Smith, Romario Shepherd, Dominic Drakes, Hayden Walsh Jr, Gudakesh Motie, Oshane Thomas.