Pakistan currently have a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. -File photo by AFP
GROS ISLET: After ensuring that their unbeaten run in head-to-head series in the West Indies since the 1988 tour will be extended, Pakistan are in no mood to relax when the final One-Day International of the five-match series against West Indies is played at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia on Wednesday.
Following a six-wicket win in the rain-affected fourth match at the same venue on Sunday, the tourists enjoy an unbeatable 2-1 lead in the series and the hosts are under increasing pressure to get the win that will square the rubber and at least reassure Caribbean fans that the regional team is steadily improving in the countdown to the next World Cup.
The third fixture, also played at Beausejour, finished in a tie.
“We're looking forward to winning again. We gained a lot from that win (on Sunday) and confidence will be high for this final game,” said Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq in anticipating the final challenge.
He was full of praise for left-arm seamer Junaid Khan. Together with Mohammad Irfan, they have been the most effective spearheads for Pakistan.
However their third left-armer, Wahab Riaz, has found the going tough in the last two matches and may be forced to make way for Asad Ali, who opened the bowling in the first two matches in Guyana.
Despite proving to be extremely expensive in the final overs of their opponents' innings so far in the series, West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo has continued to opt for his medium-pacers at the death, often resulting in a significant acceleration of the Pakistani scoring.
He finally admitted in the aftermath of defeat on Sunday that those tactics will have to be revisited.
Yet it remains to be seen what he will choose to do on the day given the reluctance to utilise Darren Sammy when the late charge is on, despite the fact that the former ODI captain has been consistently one of the most economical bowlers with his medium-pacers.
Following Wednesday's series finale, the teams travel to St Vincent for back-to-back T20 Internationals at the weekend, which will conclude Pakistan's short tour.