The visitors came into this match looking to extend their dominance while the home side were trying to scrape for a win. West Indies got an early advantage as they won the toss and elected to field first. It was a very good decision as wickets fell extremely quickly, Kamran Akmal departing for duck in the first over. The key difference for West Indies here had to obviously be Sunil Narine’s performance. In the first T20, the spinner picking up no wickets. This time round, he managed a 3 wicket haul and restricted Pakistan to just 132.
Although Pakistan fell short on runs, there were a few crucial partnerships in the innings such as the likes of Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam. The two put up a 41 run partnership after the fall of Akmal’s wicket and showed some hope for the visitors. However, the middle order collapsed with debutant Fakhar Zaman getting out for a mere five off eight balls. With Wahab Riaz coming onto the crease, Pakistan saw a 36 run partnership between Riaz and Imad Wasim. Wahab’s quick 24 consisted of two sixes and one four driving Pakistan to a fighting total.
West Indies started strong with a 50 run partnership between Walton and Marlon Samuels. Samules himself caused trouble for the Pakistan team as he put up 44 runs which included five fours and two sixes. There were quite a few problems with running between the stumps as a total of four collisions happened today, one resulting in batsmen Ahmed Shehzad being taken off the field with an ambulance.
All of this changed when the spinners came on to bowl as we saw Shadab Khan produce magic once again. The 18 year old got four wickets this time and produced an economy of 3.50. His googly lead to the demise of West Indies’ middle order batsmen. As the pacers came back on, Jason Holder and Marlon Samuels were able to put up a 33 run partnership, bringing the game back into the host’s favor.
Wickets came towards the ending including a beautiful clean bowled by Wahab to dismiss Marlon Samuels. Sunil Narine came on to bat as West Indies needed 14 runs from the final over to win. Hasan Ali was selected to bowl and immediately gave away two fours. West Indies needing six from four to win, Hasan Ali bowled a wide down the leg side adding even more pressure on the visitors. However, a run out for Sunil Narine and some excellent full length bowling lead Pakistan to a narrow victory of 3 runs.
Pakistan lead the series 2-0, Sarfraz Ahmed undefeated as captain. West Indies in immense pressure, looking for a win. Shadab Khan gets his 2nd Man Of The Match and West Indies Captain Carlos Brathwaite stated, “We started beautifully, we let it slip. We drop a catch, and we misfielded, didn’t do it in the backend with the bat. We have a team plan, but it’s up to the guys to express what they want. We are showing progression: we had the opportunity but couldn’t win. It’s about self-reflection.”
The next two T20s will be on Saturday and Sunday at the same time in Port Of Spain. Pakistan will look to wrap up the series with a third win while West Indies need a win to save themselves.
Image courtesy of ESPN.