Rizwan, Haider inspire Pakistan to big win over West Indies in first T20

Published December 14, 2021
PAKISTAN batter Haider Ali plays a stroke during the first Twenty20 International against the West Indies at the National Stadium on Monday.
—Tahir Jamal/White Star
PAKISTAN batter Haider Ali plays a stroke during the first Twenty20 International against the West Indies at the National Stadium on Monday. —Tahir Jamal/White Star

KARACHI: It proved to be a mis-match in the end. Just as it had looked on paper.

A second-string West Indies couldn’t really put any resistance to a high-flying Pakistan, who made it a fourth straight Twenty20 International victory since losing to Australia in the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup.

Opener Mohammad Rizwan continued his rich vein of form with a 52-ball 78 and Haider Ali hit 68 off 39 as Pakistan pulverised the West Indies by 63 runs to the joy of their home crowd at the National Stadium in their three-match T20 series opener here on Monday. Haider for his powerful batting was named man-of-the-match.

Put into bat, Pakistan amassed 200-6 before the West Indies, forced to draft in two players from their ODI squad after losing three of their players due to positive Covid-19 tests, were dismissed for 137 with pacer Mohammad Wasim Jr claiming a career-best 4-40.

On a nippy winter evening, Pakistan got off to the worst possible start when skipper Babar Azam was caught behind off Akeal Hossain on a delivery that turned sharply and got the edge on its way to Shai Hope on the fourth ball of the innings.

It was a start for the tourists that seemed to justify Nicolas Pooran’s decision to field after winning the toss and Pakistan’s first boundary only came on the final delivery of the second over; Fakhar Zaman cutting Oshane Thomas over point.

That saw Rizwan cut loose and put away debutant Dominic Drakes for four in the next over before hitting Thomas for successive boundaries in the following over.

Fakhar tried to keep up that momentum in the fifth over but was caught at long-on off the bowling of Romario Shepherd for 10.

Rizwan, though, continued to saunter on and drove Drakes through covers for another four before pulling Odean Smith for another boundary. Haider got his first boundary in the same over by Smith and the partnership was on.

Rizwan completed his half-century in the 10th over — his 12th in T20s overall and 11th in this calendar year — and celebrated it with a boundary through backward point as Pakistan reached 75-2 at the halfway point of their innings.

He then got a lucky boundary in the 11th over, this time his one-handed shot slicing over short third man and going all the way to the fence.

It was in the 12th over bowled by Smith where the ball was hit to all parts of the ground.

The first ball, a yorker, got an inside edge and went through Haider’s legs and beyond the reach of short fine leg.

Rizwan’s leading edge of the third ball flew over backward point and to the boundary before Haider got the first six of the innings over the mid-wicket boundary on the fifth and finished off the over with a four thanks to an outside edge that evaded short third man.

Runs were coming freely for Pakistan and Rizwan pulled Thomas for four on a free-hit to start the 12th over.

At the other end, Haider cut Drakes over point for his second six and then slashed over the point fielder for another boundary. He reached his fifty with his third six — powering the ball over deep mid-wicket — in the 15th over.

Rizwan, though, went in the next over after he couldn’t get his full blade on Romario Shepherd’s delivery and ended up hoisting it towards deep mid-wicket where Smith claimed it on the run.

It ended a partnership that yielded 105 runs off 63 balls, setting Pakistan on their way to a score in excess of 200.

With Asif Ali at the crease, the sparse home fans were expecting more fireworks especially after the power-hitter had shown his prowess at the recent Twenty20 World Cup in the UAE.

But he departed without troubling the scorers much and Iftikhar Ahmed soon followed.

Haider got his fourth six to end the 18th over before Mohammad Nawaz (30 not out) got on the act in the penultimate over, hitting boundaries through the offside off the first, fourth and fifth deliveries before hitting a six straight down the ground off the final ball with Pakistan at 189 at that point.

Haider was dismissed in the final over, finding Smith on long-on as he tried to push Pakistan to 200. But that was never in doubt with Nawaz at the crease. A flat six over long-off took Pakistan to 199 and they finished on 200 when Nawaz collected a single off the last ball.

Hope gave the West Indies some hope in their chase when he drove Pakistan’s ace pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi for four with a cracking cover drive in the first over but Nawaz had his fellow opener Brandon King caught off the very next ball by Babar at cover.

Captain Pooran came to the crease and hit two sixes and a four in an 18-run knock before seeing his stumps uprooted by a yorker from Wasim.

Wasim got his second wicket when he caught Devon Thomas plumb in front of his wicket before Shadab Khan ended West Indies hopes with two wickets in four balls in the 10th over.

Hope went for a sweep but the ball hit him just below the knee roll and he was gone for 31 before debutant Shamarh Brooks was bowled as West Indies struggled to 60-5 in the first 10 overs.

Powell tried to give the West Indies some hope when he hit Shadab for a four and a six in the 12th over and was lucky to survive when Babar dropped him at first slip.

Having seen Drakes dismissed off the first ball of the 13th over, Powell hit Haris Rauf for a six in the same over before being sent to the pavilion by Shadab.

With the asking rate climbing. Shepherd hit Wasim for two boundaries and a six in the 15th over but West Indies still needed 95 off the last five overs.

Shepherd and Smith hit a few lusty blows but it was not enough as Waseem and Shaheen had stumps flying late on.

Scoreboard

PAKISTAN:

Mohammad Rizwan c Smith b Shepherd 78

Babar Azam c Hope b Hosein 0

Fakhar Zaman c Brooks b Shepherd 10

Haider Ali c Smith b Drakes 68

Asif Ali c Powell b Oshane 1

Iftikhar Ahmed c Hope b Smith 7

Mohammad Nawaz not out 30

Shadab Khan not out 0

EXTRAS (LB-1, NB-2, W-3) 6

TOTAL (for six wickets, 20 overs) 200

DID NOT BAT: Mohammad Wasim, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-1 (Azam), 2-35 (Zaman), 3-140 (Rizwan), 4-147 (Asif), 5-161 (Ahmed), 6-191 (Haider)

BOWLING: Hosein 4-0-19-1; Oshane 4-0-38-1 (2nb, 1w); Drakes 4-0-43-1; Shepherd 4-0-43-2 (2w); Smith 4-0-56-1

WEST INDIES:

S. Hope lbw b Shadab 31

B. King c Azam b Nawaz 1

Nicholas Pooran b Wasim 18

D. Thomas lbw b Wasim 2

S. Brooks b Shadab 5

R. Powell c Nawaz b Shadab 23

D. Drakes c Nawaz b Rauf 5

R. Shepherd b Wasim 21

O. Smith b Shaheen 24

Akeal Hosein not out 1

O. Thomas b Wasim 1

EXTRAS (W-5) 5

TOTAL (all out, 19 overs) 137

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-7 (King), 2-33 (Pooran), 4-59 (Hope), 5-60 (Brooks), 6-79 (Drakes), 7-88 (Powell), 8-134 (Smith), 9-134 (Shepherd)

BOWLING: Shaheen 4-0-35-1 (1w); Nawaz 4-0-24-1, Wasim 4-0-40-4 (3w); Haris 3-0-21-1; Shadab 4-0-17-3

RESULT: Pakistan won by 63 runs.

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Haider Ali

SERIES: Pakistan lead three-match series 1-0.

UMPIRES: Aleem Dar, Ahsan Raza (both Pakistan)

TV UMPIRE: Asif Yaqoob (Pakistan)

MATCH REFEREE: Mohammad Javed (Pakistan)

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2021

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