Pakistan, Windies in hunt for victory in crucial ODI today
SHARJAH (92 News) – Pakistan and West Indies lock horns in the second of three One-Day Internationals in Sharjah on Sunday (October 1), with the hosts having won the first match at the same venue to take a 1-0 lead, said an ICC press release.
It is a crucial match for both Pakistan, ranked No. 9 in the International Cricket Council ODI rankings and West Indies, ranked No. 8, who will look to clinch this series in dominating fashion to strengthen their case for automatic qualification to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
But West Indies has not able to register a single win on its tour of the United Arab Emirates yet, having lost the three Twenty20s before this series and suffering a 111-run loss by the Duckworth-Lewis method in the first ODI.
Babar Azam set up the win with a maiden ODI century before Mohammad Nawaz, another youngster, picked up 4 for 42 and a floodlight failure led to a 70-minute delay, bringing the D/L method into the equation. West Indies, chasing a revised target of 287, folded for 175 in 38.4 overs.
Azam was also the highest run-getter in the T20 series, ending with 101 runs from three matches. Khalid Latif, Azam’s opening partner, has been in great form too, having racked up 95 runs at an average of 47.50 in the 20-over contests.
But it’s been the Pakistani spinners who have really troubled West Indies right through the campaign, with Imad Wasim, the left-arm spinner, dismantling the opponent’s batting unit regularly in the recently concluded series. With Nawaz, another left-arm spinner, coming to form after a quiet T20 series, Pakistan will be hopeful of registering its fifth consecutive win over West Indies in this match, and taking an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Pakistan’s pacers have also lent great support to the slower bowlers, with Sohail Tanvir and Hassan Ali providing early breakthroughs in most matches, allowing the spinners to capitalize on the middle order.
Carlos Brathwaite, who captained West Indies in the shorter-format, bagged three wickets in the first ODI. Marlon Samuels’s 46 was the most positive performance from the Caribbean batting unit, and a collective effort will go a long way in helping it stop Pakistan from clinching the series.
Pakistan: Azhar Ali (capt), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Sohail Khan.
West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Marlon Samuels.