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Pakistan secure six-wicket victory against West Indies in first T20

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: Pakistan clinched six-wicket win against West Indies in the first Twenty20 International match in Bridgtown. They lead the four-match series by 1-0.

Following strong bowling performance, Pakistan utterly dominated the match from the first ball of their batting.

After Kamran Akmal (22) and Ahmed Shehzad (13) gave the game an impetus, while Shoaib Malik (38) and Babar Azam (29) played steady and vigilant inning with the bat to seal the victory as Pakistan required 112 runs to win, not a big deal.

Shadab Khan, who proved his mettle with splendid bowling performance in Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2017, debuted his international career with a bang.

The teenage legbreak spinner’s rich haul of 3-7 restricted the hosts to 111-8. On his second ball of first over, he claimed first wicket and within eight balls he had taken three.

The 18-year-old is also Man of the Match.

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While, Imad Wasim (1-12), Sohail Tanvir (1-21), Wahab Riaz (1-35) and Hasan Ali (1-25) drew one wicket apiece.

Post-2

Pakistan were poised to restrict West Indies within 100 runs, however unbeaten Carlos Brathwaite turned out to be late bloomer with his 34 runs from 27 balls.

Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and opted to bowl first. Kamran Akmal returned to international cricket after about three years.

Post-3

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed gave credit to the bowlers. He said, “Young Shadab bowled really well. Mentally we are tough and we will keep doing well. I said to Shadab just bowl like you did at the PSL.”

After winning the toss  Sarfraz Ahmed said, “The preparation for this tour has been good. We have enough (talent) in the squad to restrict West Indies to a low total.”

Post-

 

West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite said Shadab bowled slew of googlies which made it tough for them.

“We got to 111, but it obviously was not enough. We will have to go back to the drawing board. We will have to find ways to counter spin. There was a little pressure on my shoulder, but I would like my team to win,” he said.


Read More: West Indies name 16-man squad for T20 series against Pakistan


Both teams have played only four T20 Internationals since the World T20 last year. World champions West Indies will be seeking to erase the recent memory of a pitiful showing in the United Arab Emirates as Pakistan beat West Indies 3-0 in the UAE last year.

Post-5

Carlos Brathwaite’s team still has the opportunity to make a statement on home soil against a Pakistan side that has also been inactive since those comprehensive triumphs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

However, a cloud hangs in the aftermath of a spot-fixing scandal that emerged during last month’s Pakistan Super League with five players, including regulars Sharjeel Khan and Mohammad Irfan, provisionally suspended.

Their absence presents an opportunity for players either emerging from a period in the wilderness such as opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad and veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, or newcomers like Shadab Khan and Fakhar Zaman to stake their claims to regular international duty.

This match is the first of four, a rarity in bilateral T20 International series, with the remaining three at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad at the end of the week.

West Indies are also desperate to stay in the hunt for an automatic qualifying spot for the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England, but will still have the chance to get through the qualifying tournament in Bangladesh next year

Pakistan squad: Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk & c), Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali

West Indies squad: E Lewis, CAK Walton (wk), MN Samuels, LMP Simmons, KA Pollard, R Powell, CR Brathwaite (c), JO Holder, SP Narine, S Badree, KOK Williams

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