Pakistan beat West Indies by six wickets in the final of the three-match ODI series at Providence Stadium, Guyana to continue their 26-year-long ODI dominance over West Indies.
Let’s take a look at the moments that defined the final ODI.
Windies' highest opening partnership of the series
Evin Lewis and Chadwick Walton gave West Indies an opening stand of 31 runs till the former pulled Junaid Khan’s length delivery into Mohammad Hafeez’s hands on the first ball of the eight over. This was also the first time in the series that the Windies openers lasted for more than five overs.
First 100-run stand for West Indies this year
With Kieran Powell’s stumping of Imad Wasim’s bowling during the 19th over, West Indies were reduced to 3 for 68. Shai Hope and Jason Mohammad, star of the first ODI, put up a 101-run partnership for the fourth wicket to bring hosts back into the game with both batsmen registering half-centuries. Mohammad’s 59 was his second fifty-plus score in the three-match series.
Taking the field as a specialist batsman for the first time in an ODI series, Kamran Akmal continued to put down regulation chances. He dropped Powell in the 17th over off Wasim at mid-off. The batsman, however, did not last long and his stay was curtailed to 34 balls when the left-handed batsman was stumped in Wasim’s next over.
Shehzad collides, again
Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad collided on the pitch for the second time on the tour. This time, he bumped into his teammate Babar Azam while searching for a single. Rather than looking at their paths, the batsmen had their eyes on the ball which led to the collision. Fortunately, they did not hurt themselves. Shehzad, after losing his helmet and bat, made to the striker’s end just in time.
Walton: Windies’ Akmal?
Windies searched for early breakthroughs in their bid to put a halt on Pakistan’s 26-year-long rule over them in the ODI format. After Kamran Akmal departed on the first ball of the chase, the hosts had an opportunity to make it 4 for 2 on the fifth ball of the third over. Facing Shannon Gabriel, an indecisive Shehzad chipped the ball towards the mid-on fielder which was put down by Chadwick Walton.
Malik-Hafeez weather the storm
Pakistan found themselves reeling in their ninth over when Gabriel, deemed unfit for the match a night ago, registered his second scalp in Babar Azam. Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik calmly guided Pakistan to a mediocre target of 234 with their 113-run partnership. The experienced batsmen rotated the strike initially, wearing out the Windies spinners. They hit eleven 4s and two 6s between them during a stand that ended with Hafeez’s wicket in the 30th over.
Malik’s multifaceted six
Shoaib Malik collected the award for Man of the match & series after his 9th ODI century helped Pakistan not only win the series, but also secured Pakistan’s chances for a direct qualification to the next world cup. Malik walked in with Pakistan reeling at 3/36 and negotiated the charge from the Windies – striking a 113-run partnership with Hafeez to take Pakistan to safety. After Hafeez’s departure, Sarfaraz not only played an able hand to ensure Pakistan’s victory, but also gave Malik a shot at three figures. At 95*, Pakistan needed four in the last six overs to protect the esteemed streak over the West Indies. Malik needed five to score his first century in the format since May 2015. Only a six could attain both and Malik launched the Windies captain Jason Holder over his head and into the stands on the first ball to achieve his ton, as well as taking Pakistan over the line.
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