After a comprehensive defeat in the first game the West Indies needed a win to keep their hopes of a series win alive. It started off well with the captain winning the toss. He elected to bowl.
The Pakistan innings got off to the worst start with opener Kamran falling in the first over. In came Babar Azam who joined Shehzad at the crease, both u19 teammates. The partnership put on 41 for the second wicket until Shehzad lost his wicket to danger man Narine. What followed was a precession of wickets with the Pakistani middle order failing to make an impact bar Shoaib Malik. Malik assessed conditions well and played a very well composed innings amidst the madness.
At one point Pakistan was 95-8 until Wahab entered the crease. He smashed 24 off 10 at the death of the innings, which set up a competitive total of 132. I felt the total was competitive considering the average total on this wicket was 128. The pitch was very slow and low and tough to get the ball away.
The first wicket in the West Indies innings fell via a controversial run out. What followed was an impressive 2nd wicket partnership between Marlon Samuels and Chadwick Walton who looked in control and accustomed to the wicket. Samuels in particular was striking the ball beautifully. His innings eventually fell short via a tremendous delivery by Shadab Khan, who once again impressed. At one point it felt as if it was Samuels vs Pakistan. That was until Jason Holder made his mark. In 2013 he took 14 off Wahab Riaz in a final over of an ODI, and today he looked just as impressive. His power hitting ensured the West Indies took the game to the final over where they required 14 to win.
After his first two deliveries went for boundaries, Hasan Ali came back beautifully ensuring Pakistan take victory in the second t20. Shadab Khan was once again adjudged man of the match for his sensational match-winning spell in which he took 4 wickets.
Overall, it was a wonderful game full of ebbs and flows with Pakistan sneaking the victory in the end. The bowling once again bailed the team out and that has to be concerning going forward. I feel the batsmen today tried to be too aggressive, possibly due to a lack of planning from the management. With the average score on this wicket being 130 the batsmen should have realised that this is a pitch where you have to grind for your runs, rather then power them.
That now makes it 5 in a row for Pakistan against the West Indies. The next t20’s will be over the weekend.
Shehzad – 4/10
I thought Shehzad looked an improved batsman. He rotated strike well through the use of soft hands and he guided the ball down towards third man. Strike rotation has been a massive issue of his in the past so it’s good to see he’s been working on his game. Overall, it was a poor innings for him. He gave his wicket away and on his comeback he has to do better. I’ve said this many times but he has to understand his role is to get the team off to a flyer, rather then anchor the innings.
Kamran – 1/10
The leg-spinner Badree has removed Kamran on both occasions now. Kamran couldn’t seem to pick him and he looked clueless at the crease. At 35+ years of age, you have to make every opportunity count and you can’t be given the same amount of leeway a youngster may have. The wicket keeper generally prefers pace on the ball, which is the opposite of what he’ll receive in the Carribean.
Babar – 5.5/10
Babar played a decent innings considering the state of the pitch. He at times got stuck at the wicket and played a lot of dot balls, but that’s expected on a slow pitch. He like the other batsmen tried to go hard too early. He has to understand his job in this Pakistan team is that of an anchor, and he must aim to play all 20 overs.
Malik – 8/10
It was once again another superb innings by Shoaib Malik. He didn’t get the entire job done, but he injected life in to a lifeless innings. Wickets were tumbling around him but he kept his composure and continued to play his strokes. The most impressive part of his innings was his strike rate of 140. To score at such a rate on this pitch was a magnificent effort.
Fakhar – 3/10
It might have been debut nerves, but the left-hander never looked comfortable at the wicket. I do have some sympathy with him as I feel he is being played in the wrong position. The batsman has scored all of his domestic runs as an opener, and I feel it’s unfair to make him bat in the middle order. I would continue to persist with him as he’s done well in domestic cricket.
Sarfaraz – 2.5/10
I was very disappointed with the way Sarfaraz batted. His game is built upon strike rotation and deflecting the ball. In this innings he failed to realise his own strengths and instead tried to power the ball. On a slow wicket, powering the ball won’t work and as a result he got stuck at the wicket. The captain has to do better in future. I feel he should be batting at 4/5 and not at number 6.
Imad – 5/10
At the death of the innings Imad played a poor stroke. With a few overs left in the innings he didn’t have to go hard that soon. With the ball Samuels took a liking to his first few overs, but I felt he came back well when the pressure was on. He has to learn to spin the ball. I feel at times his bowling becomes too predictable.
Shadab – 10/10
I didn’t think Shadab could better what he did in the first t20, but he certainly did! He played a very important cameo with the bat which helped set up the innings, but it was his bowling that once again made the headlines. Two wickets with the googly and two with the leg-break, Shadab once again proved why he is one of the hottest prospects in World cricket.
Tanvir – 3/10
As a t20 specialist I feel Tanvir has to do more. With the bat he failed & with the ball he looked fairly innocuous throughout his four over spell. I feel it is time to invest in Ruman Raees.
Wahab – 10/10
It was a sensational all-round performance by Riaz. He entered the crease with Pakistan in an array of trouble, and then proceeded to put on a match winning partnership with Shadab. His late order hitting was the reason why Pakistan managed to win the game. With the ball he hit 152kph on one occasion, which is an impressive achievement on such a slow track.
Hasan – 7/10
The figures may not look good for Hasan at 1-35, but I thought he came back beautifully in his last over. Defending 14 he went for two boundaries on his first two deliveries, but he showed a lot of heart in coming back and sealing the game for Pakistan
Shadab shines again as Pakistan edge past WI to make it 2-0
Shadab shines again as Pakistan edge past WI to make it 2-0