Babar, Hasan help Pakistan pull level
PROVIDENCE (92 News) – A superb unbeaten 125 from Babar Azam and a five-wicket haul to Hasan Ali led Pakistan to a comfortable 74-run victory in its second one-day cricket international against the West Indies in Providence, Guyana, leveling the three-match series 1-1.
After West Indies won the toss, Babar’s career-best innings, off 132 balls, led the visitors to a respectable total of 282-5 from their 50 overs.
The West Indies struggled for momentum throughout its reply and mustered only 208 off 44.5 overs, with paceman Hasan taking 5-38 from 8.5 overs.
The third and deciding game of the series will be held on Tuesday, also in Providence.
Restored to No.3 after being surprisingly dropped down the order in game one, Babar was the rock of a Pakistan innings which would have looked forlorn if not for his contribution and Imad Wasim’s 43 not out off 35 balls.
Man-of-the-match Babar came to the crease at 1-16 in the fifth over and quickly set after a West Indian attack modestly highlighted by paceman Shannon Gabriel’s 2-50 from 10 overs.
After losing opener Kamran Akmal (21) at 2-44 in the ninth over, Babar gained some support from Mohammad Hafeez (32) as the pair added 69 in a third wicket stand which ended on the halfway point of the innings at 113-3.
Babar later added 55 runs for the fifth wicket with Sarfraz Ahmed (26). While West Indies may have felt satisfied with a Pakistan scoreline then of 183-5 in the 39th over, Babar and Imad then smashed an unbroken 99-run stand off 11.2 overs to boost their side’s total, with Babar ending with seven fours and three sixes.
West Indies began its run chase with strong intent, but with both openers back in the pavilion after 4.2 overs, and the score 56-5 after 14 overs, Pakistan’s bowlers were always in the box seat.