Out-of-sorts Windies humbled in opener
DUBAI, UAE, CMC):
Reigning World champions West Indies were humbled by Pakistan in the opening Twenty20 International here yesterday, after virtually condemning themselves with a feeble batting effort at the Dubai International Stadium.
Sent in, they recovered from a shocking position of 48 for eight in the 12th over to stumble to 115 all out with a ball remaining in the innings, and Pakistan wasted little time in cruising to their target in the 15th over, to complete an uncomplicated nine-wicket victory and take a valuable 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Veteran all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was the only one to emerge from the encounter with any semblance of pride, striking a top score of 55 from 54 balls under pressure.
He put on a 66 in an all-time record ninth wicket stand with Jerome Taylor who made 21, but the Caribbean side never really recovered from the damage done by left-arm spinner Imad Wasim who ripped through the innings with a Man-of-the-Match spell of five for 14 from his four overs.
fluent unbeaten 55
In reply, Pakistan never looked in danger of botching their run chase and Babar Azam made sure of this with a fluent unbeaten 55 off 37 deliveries.
In only his second T20 International, the right-hander smashed six fours and two sixes and posted a match-winning, unbroken 88-run, second wicket stand with opener Khalid Latif who made a patient 34 not out from 32 balls.
With the second T20 International scheduled for today at the same venue, West Indies were left with several problems to solve in a short space of time.
Left-hander Evin Lewis holed out in the deep for one off the fifth ball of the innings from Imad Wasim who then removed both Andre Fletcher (2) and Marlon Samuels (4) within the space of three deliveries in his next over.
Fletcher missed a slog at the second delivery and was bowled and Samuels pushed forward defensively, missed one that came on with the arm, and was adjudged lbw.
In the very next over - the fourth of the innings - opener Johnson Charles gave himself too much room, missed a cut and was bowled for seven by another left-armer, Mohammad Nawaz, as West Indies crashed to 17 for four.