Pakistan v West Indies, 2nd ODI - 5 Talking Points
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Solid batting and exceptional fielding helped Pakistan secure an easy 59 run win over West Indies in the 2nd ODI and gain an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. It was another one-sided effort were West Indies could only show glimpses of brilliance rather a fully-charged effort.
Batting first Pakistan posted a formidable 337/5 with the help of match-defining knocks from Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, and Sarfraz Khan. West Indies, in reply, were good in patches but were never in contention to make the chase possible and could manage only 278/7 in their quota of 50 overs.
This win also brings a cheerful news for Pakistan as they get one step closer to the gaining an automatic selection for the 2016 Cricket World Cup.
1.Azam and Malik dominate:
Pakistan’s most and least experienced batsmen – Shoaib Malik and Babar Azam – combined together to display sturdy batting on a slow surface and leave West Indies in tatters.
The young Babar Azam (123) slammed his second century in as many games while Malik (90) missed on well deserved century by ten runs to ask West Indies pull off the highest successful chase in Sharjah to save the three-match series.
The West Indies bowlers were able to strike two quick blows at the start but Azam and Malik forged a 169 run stand for the 3rd wicket to completely throw the Windies out of the game.
2. Darren Bravo finds his hitting range:
Darren Bravo, after struggling in the first ODI, finally found his hitting range and hit a smooth 61 runs knock and ned as the top performer with the bat in the match. Pakistan landed an early blow to West Indies chasing effort when Mohammad Amir made Johnson Charles depart in the 2nd over itself.
There was suddenly some panic among Windies fans. West Indies batting order had struggled badly this series and Bravo had also failed to make any significant impact. However, he looked at ease batting in the middle than his teammates and kept the hopes of chasing down the target alive.
3. Exceptional ground fielding but poor catching at the same time:
Pakistan was amazing with ground fielding today and affected three run outs. their sharp fielding was one of the main reasons why Pakistan was able to keep West Indies under control.
Kraigg Brathwaite was the first batsman to get run out after Mohammad Nawaz got him run out at the wicket keepers end. The well set Bravo was the next to lose his wicket after Hasan Ali produced a brilliant fielding effort off his bowling to end Bravo’s innings.
Th third run out was also similar to Hasan Ali’s effort when Riaz fired a sharp throw at the bowlers’ end to make Brathwaite depart in the 43rd over.
4. Wahab Riaz bends his back:
Left-arm fast bowler Wahab Riaz snapped two crucial wickets today just when it appeared that the West Indies were trying to stage a comeback and set a platform to accelerate later on. Denesh Ramdin and Marlon Samuels had successfully combined to 67 runs for the 4th wicket.
The duo showed some resistance and kept the balance between both the team intact. However, Riaz, in the 38th over provided Pakistan with the much need breakthrough with the wicket of Samuels and break the stand. An over later, Riaz came back and removed Ramdin from the middle to put pressure back on the West Indies side.
5.Kieron Pollard and Brathwaite keep the hopes flickering:
Logically speaking, West Indies were never in the game. But, they tried their best to match the level of the Pakistanis. Firstly, Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo compiled a respectful stand to keep the chase going.
Later Denesh Ramdin made his contribution. However, The chase was rocked after the trio lost their wicket and the onus fell on Kiron Pollard and Carlos Brathwaite to take their team home. They were unable to that eventually but kept the hopes flickering with their 6th wicket stand of 22 runs.
The duo may have added a negligible amount of runs but the combined presence and the hard-hitting reputation made the Windies fans believe that required run rate, which as hovering at around 11 runs an over, was still gettable.