WI v PAK, 2nd T20I, Review: Superman Shadab gives Pakistan unassailable lead

Pakistan registered a 3-run win to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Pakistan Shadab Khan
Pakistan’s Shadab Khan (#29) celebrates with team captain/wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed after bowling out West Indies’ Rovman Powell (R) during the second of four-T20I-match between West Indies and Pakistan at the Queens Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on March 30, 2017. (Photo credit JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

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After a very disappointing show in the first T20I against Pakistan, the hosts West Indies desperately needed to put up an improved show in the remaining three matches of the series. It was a total failure in all the three departments that saw the Windies side succumb to a heavy defeat in the first match. With the second game of the 4-match series on the line, the eyes were on the hosts. They have had a pathetic time in the limited overs fixtures – this comes despite the fact that they are the current World T20 champions.

Their home record has been far from being impressive as they were whitewashed by England in the ODI fixtures prior to this series. Amidst this backdrop, Carlos Brathwaite-led side came into the second match. On the other hand, the Pakistan side were a spirited unit which seemed to have put their blocks aligned in the first fixture. Young Shadab Khan had been a find for them in the match and the eyes were definitely glued on him yet again.

Coming into the match, it was the visiting team that saw a batting collapse on the day. A very average batting display saw the Pakistanis post a mere 132 runs on the board. However, the score was 6 more than the average par score at the venue. The match was on. It was perhaps this very fact about the par score that got to the nerves of the Windies side that eventually fell short by 3 runs despite being in command of the chase for most of the time.

Earlier in the day, Carlos Brathwaite had won the toss and opted to field first. They went in with an unchanged eleven. On the other hand, the Pakistani side tinkered with their winning combination and drafted in debutant Fakhar Zaman in for veteran batsman Mohammad Hafeez. The Pakistan team had a poor start to their innings with opener Kamran Akmal being cleaned up for 0 in the very first over of the match.

Babar Azam joined the other opener Ahmed Shehzad at the crease. Azam took majority of the strike during his stay at the wicket and scored 27 off 28 deliveries. With 33 runs on the board in the powerplay, the visitors needed a shift of momentum. In an attempt to do do, Azam was dismissed by Carlos Brathwaite in the 8th over. Shehzad’s stay at the middle was not long either and he perished to Sunil Narines’s turn in the very next over. He scored 14 off 15 balls. Fakhar Zaman had a forgettable debut as he could score just 5 before becoming Badree’s second scalp of the match. Wickets kept tumbling as Shoaib Malik held the fort from one end.

His resistance was broken in the 15th over when Brathwaite sent him packing on 28 that came off 20 deliveries with 3 fours and a six. At 95/8 in about 16.3 overs, serious embarrassment awaited Pakistan. However, kudos to some late hitting by Wahab Riaz, they managed to post 132 in their 20 overs. Riaz scored 24 off just 10 balls with a four and 2 sixes. For the hosts, Narine and Brathwaite bagged 3 wickets each while Badree was economical as ever with figures of 2/14 in his 4 overs.

The West Indies run chase began in a shaky manner. Openers Evin Lewis and Chadwick Walton were seen facing problems with their running between the wickets. It did not take long for the visitors to strike first blood as Lewis was run out for 3 in the second over by Imad Wasim. Marlon Samuels joined Walton at the crease. The two batsmen took the attack to the Pakistani bowlers and made sure that they had their noses ahead in the run chase. Walton struggled with his timing and his stay of 25 balls yielded just 21 runs.

He was bowled by Shadab Khan in the 9th over. The West Indies were well on course with 60 odd runs in 9 overs. It was a sudden flurry of wickets that saw Pakistan claw back in the match. Lendl Simmons perished for 1. Shadab struck again to send Kieron Pollard for just 3 and Rovman Powell was dismissed on a golden duck by Shadab, who looks to be on a dream run. Samuels, on the other hand, looked in sublime form for his 35-ball 44.

He struck 2 sixes and 5 boundaries in his innings. However, he was also a part of the cavalcade and became Shadab’s fourth wicket of the match. Skipper Carlos Brathwaite and Jason Holder were left with the rebuilding job with Windies reeling on 81/6. Brathwaite had a forgettable time at the crease as he could score only 15 in 23 balls before being dismissed in the penultimate over.

Needing 14 to win off the last over, Sunil Narine gave hopes to the hosts by hitting two boundaries in the over off the bowling of Hasan Ali. A delivery later, he found himself run out on 9 (7) to leave Windies stranded with 5 to get off the last ball. All that they could manage was a single and Pakistan registered a 3-run win to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Brief Scores:

Pakistan: 132/10 in 20 overs (Malik 28, Azam 27, Narine 3/22, Brathwaite 3/37)

West Indies: 129/8 in 20 overs (Samuels 44, Holder 26*, Shadab 4/14, Riaz 1/23)