Rain deals early blow as opener abandoned

July 29, 2021
Pollard ... struck 22 off nine balls.
Pollard ... struck 22 off nine balls.


Persistent rain ruined Pakistan's hotly anticipated run chase, forcing the abandonment of the opening Twenty20 International against West Indies yesterday.

Tasked with overhauling the home side's 85 for five in a contest reduced to nine overs per side after rain delayed the start at Kensington Oval by nearly three hours, the bad weather returned during the break and officials had little hesitation in pulling the plug.

Both teams will hope for better weather for the last three matches of the series, which will be staged in Guyana starting tomorrow.

Asked to bat first after losing the toss, West Indies were then confined to the pavilion for the next few hours as rain engulfed the venue.

Once the weather cleared enough for officials to determine a 12:45 p.m. start following a 12:20 p.m. inspection, the game became all but a rapid-fire shoot-out at just nine overs per side.

Lendl Simmons looked to be giving West Indies the type of fast start they required when he struck two boundaries in nine before being felled by a quick, short ball from debutant 19-year-old fast bowler Mohammad Wasim in the second over and forced to retire hurt with a blow to his neck.

Evin Lewis chipped fast bowler Hasan Ali (2-11) to mid-on off the first ball of the next over, but Nicholas Pooran (13) arrived to lash two sixes in the fourth over from off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez, before falling to the final delivery, holing out to point.

Andre Russell (7) cleared the ropes at long off with leg-spinner Usman Qadir in the sixth over, but nicked the last ball behind and Chris Gayle too struck a single six before perishing for seven at the start of the seventh over, tugging a slower ball to long on to give Wasim his first international wicket.

Captain Kieron Pollard entered to belt a nine-ball 22 with a four and two sixes and orchestrate a 20-run, fifth-wicket stand with Shimron Hetmyer (5) - the best partnership of the innings.

West Indies were only 72 for five at the start of the final over. But Pollard pulled left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi for four, before clearing mid-wicket with the final ball of the innings, in an over which leaked 13 runs.

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