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Rizwan and Haider set-up record-breaking win for Pakistan

Rizwan and Haider set-up record-breaking win for Pakistan
December 14, 2021 Web Desk

KARACHI (92 News) – Pakistan became the first men's team to win 18 T20Is in a calendar year, surpassing their own record from 2018, when they beat West Indies by 63 runs in Karachi.

Pakistan took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series on Monday after they bundled West Indies out for 137 in their chase of 201. Mohammad Wasim (4/40) picked up a four-wicket haul while Shadab Khan (3/17) had three to his name.

Earlier, Pakistan recovered from two early breakthroughs to post 200/6, thanks to fifties from Mohammad Rizwan (78) and Haider Ali (68)) and a cameo from Mohammad Nawaz (30).

Nicolas Pooran had won the toss in Karachi and opted to field first. Dominic Drakes and Shamarh Brooks were handed their debuts while Brandon King returned to the Windies T20I side for the first time since November 2019 and was slotted at the top with Shai Hope.

The bowlers started brilliantly for West Indies, picking up two wickets inside the Powerplay. Pooran's decision to open with spin paid off immediately as Akeal Hosein (1/19) dismissed captain Babar Azam for a duck in the very first over. Romario Shepherd (2/43) scalped the wicket of Fakhar Zaman in the fifth over, with the batter holing out at long-on for a run-a-ball 10.

At the other end, Rizwan looked comfortable at the crease and made run-making look very easy, scoring 32 out of Pakistan's Powerplay score of 44.

While Ali took his time to get his eye in, Rizwan continued to take the attack to the West Indies bowlers even after fielding restrictions were lifted. He soon got to his half-century, his 11th of the calendar year. The two batters took Pakistan to 83/2 at the halfway stage.

The 12th over bowled by Odean Smith (1/56) changed the complexion of the innings. Ali, who was going at less than run a ball up until that point, smashed two boundaries and a six while Rizwan hit a boundary of his own as they accumulated 20 runs from the over.

Ali continued to dominate the bowlers as tonked a boundary and a six twice in two overs off Drakes (1/43) and Smith. 

Thanks to Romario Shepherd (2/43), there was some respite for West Indies. He ended the 105-run stand between the two batters by sending Rizwan back to the hut. Iftikhar Ahmed's stay at the crease didn't last long as he was dismissed for 7.

Despite losing three wickets in three overs, Pakistan finished strongly, thanks to a stunning cameo of 30* from just 10 balls by Nawaz that helped them set a target of 201 for the West Indies.

 Like West Indies, Pakistan too struck early in the innings to peg West Indies back. Nawaz carried his form with the bat to the ball as he got King (1) off the first ball of his spell.

Pooran looked in good touch during his 10-ball 18 before Mohammad Wasim cleaned him up. Wasim worked his magic again in the last over of the Powerplay by trapping Devon Thomas (2) in front of the stumps.

Shadab Khan soon got in the act and got the wickets of Hope (31) and Brooks (23) as West Indies lost half their side inside the first 10 overs for 60.

Rovman Powell gave West Indies fans something to cheer about as he smashed a couple of maximums in consecutive overs but had to make the long walk back after Nawaz took a stunning catch in the deep.

Shepherd, who picked two wickets with the ball, showed what he is capable with the bat in hand as he hit two fours and a six to take West Indies past the 100-run mark. 

Together with Smith, Shepherd showed some resistance as the ninth wicket pair added 46 runs. Smith took the attack to Shaheen Afridi (1/35) with two fours and a six in his final over but it was the pacer who had the last laugh as he knocked down the middle stump.

Wasim rattled the stumps two more times to pick up his four-for and bundle West Indies out for 137.