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Sports

April 3, 2018

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Babar, Hussain sizzle as Pakistan seal T20I series

KARACHI: There were roadblocks and there were traffic jams. The various layers of security made it tough for the fans to get to the National Stadium. And to top it all, it was a week day.

But over 20,000 spectators still came and supported Pakistan as they beat their previous highest total in Twenty20 Internationals for the second time in less than 24 hours to knock down West Indies by 82 runs and seal the three-match T20I series in their favour.

After Pakistan made short work of a depleted and jet-lagged West Indian team by a whopping 143 runs in the series opener on Sunday night, it was clear that the tourists were a side with little or no teeth.

A repeat of what happened on Sunday was expected in Monday’s second T20 game.And despite the fact that big-hitting opener Fakhar Zaman (6) fell cheaply, Pakistan had a cakewalk to their highest total (205-3) after electing to bat first on a breezy Karachi evening.

Their biggest batting hero was Babar Azam, a man often criticised for his inability to score fast in the T20 format. But on Monday, it was a different Babar altogether as the opener first completed his 50 from just 30 balls and then raced to a career-best 97 (not out).

The 23-year-old was unlucky not to reach his maiden T20 century. Thanks to his partner Shoaib Malik, Babar did get an ample chance to reach that milestone but was unable to get there to the utter dismay of a vocal crowd which cheered his every run.

“I’m to be blamed as I couldn’t connect and played out a few dot balls at the end,” said Babar, who was named man-of-the-match.Then there was the young Turk, Hussain Talat, who scored his maiden fifty in his second T20I outing. Having missed that milestone on his debut on Sunday, Hussain batted with authority hitting eight fours and a six in his 41-ball 63. He looked set for a bigger score but fell to a brilliant catch by West Indies skipper Jason Mohammad at point.

But by then Hussain had done his job, having put on 119 runs for the second wicket from just 74 balls with Babar.Babar, meanwhile, continued his onslaught as he added 37 with Asif Ali (14 from 8) and 38 with Malik (17* from 7) to shepherd Pakistan to their biggest ever total in T20I history.

While the West Indians surrendered without any fight on Sunday as they crashed to 60 all out, they came out with a better display with the bat thanks to an entertaining cameo of 40 from 29 balls. But the rest of the West Indian batting line-up capitulated yet again. Dinesh Ramdin was the other chief contributor with 21 from 20 balls.

Pakistan’s bowling big guns sizzled again with the multi-dimensional attack just toying with the West Indians. The pace trio of Mohammad Amir (3-22), Hussain Talat (2-12) and Hassan Ali (1-33) were too good for the West Indians while spin twins Shadab Khan (2-23) and Mohammad Nawaz (1-19) just bamboozled them even though the National Stadium track is quite a batting paradise.

Monday night’s effortless victory is Pakistan’s seventh consecutive win in T20 Internationals and should help them consolidate their position as the world’s No. 1 team in the format.

For the West Indies, things look bleak ahead of Tuesday’s final games of the brief series. They suffered a setback on Monday shortly before the toss when it became clear that left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul would miss the final two games because of injury. His place was filled by 21-year old debutant Odean Smith.

Pakistan won toss

Pakistan

Fakhar Zaman c Ramdin b Emrit 6

Babar Azam not out 97

Hussain Talat c Mohammed b Smith 63

Asif Ali c Walton b Williams 14

Shoaib Malik not out 17

Extras (lb 2, w 6) 8

Total (3 wickets; 20 Overs) 205

Did not bat: *†Sarfraz Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, M Nawaz(3), Shadab Khan, M Amir, Hasan Ali

Fall: 1-11, 2-130, 3-167

Bowling: Paul 4-0-34-0; Emrit 4-0-47-1; Badree 3-0-26-0; Williams 4-0-43-1; Smith 4-0-40-1; Powell 1-0-13-0

West Indies

C A K Walton b Shadab 40

A D S Fletcher b Nawaz 1

M N Samuels c Asif b Shadab 12

*J N Mohammed b Amir 15

†D Ramdin c Hasan b Hussain 21

R Powell c Babar b Amir 3

K M A Paul c Faheem b Amir 17

R R Emrit run out 1

K O K Williams b Hasan 1

O F Smith c Nawaz b Hussain 6

S Badree not out 2

Extras (lb 3, w 1) 4

Total (all-out; 19.2 Overs) 123

Fall: 1-11, 2-50, 3-57, 4-92, 5-94, 6-107, 7-113, 8-114, 9-115, 10-123

Bowling: Nawaz(3) 4-0-19-1; Amir 4-0-22-3; Hasan 4-0-33-1; Shadab 4-0-23-2; Faheem 2-0-11-0; Hussain 1.2-0-12-2

Result: Pakistan won by 82 runs

Man of the Match: Babar Azam (Pak)

Series: Pakistan lead the 3-match series by 2-0

T20I debut: O F Smith

Umpires: Shozab Raza and Ahmed Shahab (Pakistan). TV Umpires: Ahsan Raza (Pakistan). Match Referee: David Boon (Australia)

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