Port of Spain, Trinidad, CMC — West Indies were flirting with crisis after plunging to a
fifth straight Twenty20 defeat, as Pakistan took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the fourth match series with a dramatic three-run victory here yesterday.
Chasing an uncomplicated 133 for victory at Queen’s Park Oval, West Indies saw their run chase unravel spectacularly, with 18-year-old leg-spinner Shadab Khan once again proving their nemesis with another Man-of-the-Match four-wicket effort.
The hosts were cruising at 60 for in the ninth over behind Marlon Samuels’s top score of 44 but Shadab’s introduction saw four wickets tumble for just 16 runs off 29 deliveries, leaving the innings in strife on 81 for six in the 13th over.
But needing 14 runs from the final over, Sunil Narine (9) lifted the Windies hopes when he hammered the first two deliveries of the over from seamer Hasan Ali for boundaries.
Things then took a turn for the worst, however. Narine missed a swat at the third ball and even after Ali sent down a leg-side wide next delivery, the left-hander failed to connect with the fourth ball, leaving West Indies requiring five off the last two.
Narine was run out off the fifth and Jason Holder, who finished unbeaten on 26 off 17 deliveries, could only muster a single off the final ball. The defeat followed the Windies’ opening debacle at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown last Sunday when they lost by six wickets, and comes against the backdrop of an embarrassing 3-0 whitewash to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last September.
Shadab, who claimed four wickets for seven runs on debut five days ago, finished with four for 14. Sent in, Pakistan rallied to 132 all out off their 20 overs, despite an innings which never really got off the ground.
Shoaib Malik top-scored with 28, Babar Azam got 27 while tail-ender Wahab Riaz produced a cameo 10-ball 24 at number 10, to get the visitors up to a competitive total. Off-spinner Narine (3-22) and seamer and captain Carlos Brathwaite (3-37) finished with three wickets apiece while leg-spinner Samuel Badree was brilliant in taking two for 14 from his four overs.
West Indies started well when Badree bowled Kamran Akmal without scoring off the fifth ball of the game but Babar and Ahmed Shezad (14) added 41 for the second wicket to stabilise the innings.
When three wickets perished for 10 runs off 17 deliveries, Pakistan were revived by a 36-run, fifth wicket stand between Shoaib and captain Sarfraz Ahmed (12). But with Pakistan poised for a strong finish, Shaoib and Sarfraz fell in successive overs to Brathwaite and Narine respectively with no runs added, as four wickets tumbled for eight runs in another cluster.
Struggling at 95 for eight in the 17th over, Wahab arrived to lash a four and a pair sixes — with 16 runs oming in the penultimate over from rookie seamer Kesrick Williams. In reply, West Indies lost Evin Lewis for three in the second over with the score on 10, run out by Imad Wasim’s direct throw from mid-on but Samuels and fellow Jamaican Chadwick Walton, who made 21, added 50 to put the innings back on course.
Samuels appeared in exquisite touch, stroking five fours and two sixes — consecutive blows off left-arm spinner Imad Wasim — in a silky 35-ball knock while Walton faced 25 deliveries and counted two fours.
The rot began when Walton tried to turn a googly from Shadab and was bowled leg stump and Lendl Simmons followed in the next over for one, lbw to Hasan Ali off the second ball he faced.
Stuttering at 65 for three in the 10th over, West Indies needed a hero but found none. Kieron Pollard suffered a rush of blood, missed a charge at Shadab and was stumped for three in the 11th over and Rovman Powell was bowled next ball, completely deceived by another googly from Shadab.
The major turning point came in Shadab’s following over, the 13th of the innings, when he knocked over Samuels with the final delivery of his spell, having the veteran stroke-maker caught at the wicket edging a googly.
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