DUBAI: Riding on fine knocks from captain Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman, Pakistan’s preparations for the eagerly-awaited T20 World Cup opener against old rivals India started with a crushing seven-wicket defeat of West Indies in their first warm-up fixture here on Monday.
After restricting the reigning champions to a modest 130-7 at the ICC Academy in Dubai, Pakistan cruised to victory in 15.3 overs. Babar led the chase by striking six fours and one six in a 41-ball knock of 50, while the left-handed Fakhar bludgeoned a quickfire 46 with his unbeaten 24-ball innings containing four fours and a brace of sixes.
Earlier electing to bat in the 15-a-side encounter after Kieron Pollard won the toss, West Indies struggled from the onset as they slipped to 63-4 when the big-hitting Chris Gayle was bowled by fast bowler Haris Rauf at the beginning of the 14th over for a 30-ball 20 (two boundaries).
Shimron Hetmyer hit up 28 off 24 deliveries (three fours) and Pollard blasted five boundaries in his 10-ball cameo of 23.
Hasan Ali was the pick of the bowlers with 2-21 while Haris claimed 2-32 and spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi 2-41.
Pakistan’s second — and final — warm-up game will be against South Africa under lights at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Scores in brief:
WEST INDIES 130-7 in 20 overs (S.O. Hetmyer 28, K.A. Pollard 23, C.H. Gayle 20, L.M.P. Simmons 18; Hasan Ali 2-21, Haris Rauf 2-32, Shaheen Shah Afridi 2-41);
PAKISTAN 131-3 in 15.3 overs (Babar Azam 50, Fakhar Zaman 46 not out, Shoaib Malik 14 not out; H.R, Walsh 2-41).
Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2021