North Sound, Antigua – West Indies A pulled off an amazing one run win in the Super Over Eliminator to kick off the Digicel Series in tremendous fashion at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
After the match was tied at 130 after both sides faced their 20 overs, Jonathan Foo and Danza Hyatt batted the Super Over Eliminator (bowled by Junaid Khan) for West Indies A and made 7 runs with Foo contributing 6 before being run out off the last ball.
With Pakistan A needing 8 runs to win Windies A turned to their most inexperienced bowler in Barbadian spinner Ashley Nurse who dispatched Khuram Manzoor for a duck and allowed Faisal Iqbal only 5 runs as Pakistan A ended on 6 runs for 2 wickets to lose by one run.
With three runs needed from the final ball for Pakistan A to win, Nurse held his nerves and speared in a faster ball which Umair Khan hit and completed a single but as he dashed back for a second run which would have caused another tie Kirk Edwards swooped in and sent a sharp return in to find Khan short of his ground.
At the start of the evening’s proceedings West Indies A restricted Pakistan A to a modest 130 for 4 from their 20 overs. The Pakistani A’s innings was led by right handed opener Manzoor who struck 42 from 45 balls inclusive of five meaty fours. He received support from fellow opener Umair Khan who made a brisk 36 from 28 balls as the pair put on 77 for the first wicket in 10.4 overs.
Pakistan A raced to 50 off 40 balls with openers Manzoor and Khan playing inventive strokes but both benefitted from a dropped catch each. On both occasions Jason Holder was the bowler. First he dropped a Khan skied catch off his own bowling then Kirk Edwards spilled Manzoor at long on.
The initial breakthrough came for Windies A compliments of the Windies senior team pair of Nikita Miller and Ravi Rampaul when the latter carefully pouched a catch running in from long off to leave Pakistan A 77 for 1 in the first over with Khan departing.
Holder dislodged Manzoor with the first ball of his second spell, evicting him via the caught and bowled route for 42 from 45 balls to leave the score on 89 for 2 at the start of the 13th over.
Holder finished with 1 for 24 from four overs while Captain David Bernard Jr had identical figures and Miller also had a wicket for 32 runs from his allotment of four overs.
When Windies A batted they lost two early wickets to Muhammad Rameez (4-0-24-2) as opener Miles Bascombe was caught at mid on for a duck while Johnson Charles was caught and bowled, also for a duck. Windies A began to limp at 26 for 2 in the 4th over.
They slipped further to 46 for 3 when Andre Fletcher was bowled by Yasir Shah (4-0-31-1) for 34 from 27 balls after he had hit six powerful boundaries.
Top scorer Hyatt and Kirk Edwards (21 from 28 balls with one six) then took the score to 79 before Edwards was bowled by Junaid. Hyatt hit three thunderous sixes in addition to a couple of boundaries in his 39 before he fell reaching for and edging a wide ball to leave the score 107 for 5 in the 17th over.
Foo then blasted 21 runs from 16 balls but survived two dropped catches in the process as he hit two fours. The Windies A needed 19 runs from 12 balls and Foo powered them through as he had done for champions Guyana in the Caribbean Twenty20 earlier in the year.
With one run needed off the final delivery of the 20th over for Windies A to win and Holder facing, the tall fast bowling all rounder was run out on the final delivery amidst chaotic scenes on the field.
The players then had to calm themselves down to return for the Super Over Eliminator which then ended once again with chaotic scenes but this time with the Windies A boys leaping around joyfully and heaping lavish praise on their rookie spinner Ashley Nurse.
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