Sarfaraz won the toss, and predictably opted to bowl first. It’s something he’s done quite a lot during the PSL, and he had no hesitation in doing so here.
The bowling was opened with spinners from both ends, with Imad taking the new ball alongside Hafeez. The West Indian batsmen never settled in to a groove and they looked under pressure from the start. The first wicket was taken courtesy of a wonderful direct hit from the deep from Ahmed Shehzad. That fielding effort really set the tone, and the West Indian innings failed to kick on.
The star of the day with the ball was debutant Shadab Khan. The leg-spinner bamboozled the batsmen taking 3-7 in his four overs. His googly, which was ever so impressive during the PSL, confused the batsmen and proved to be the un-doing of the West Indies innings. The 18 year old should have had another wicket to his tally, but Kamran Akmal dropped the catch, this time without gloves in his hand.
With the score at 49-6 at one point, the West Indies managed to score a total of 111 due to a few lusty blows by captain Brathwaite, who took a liking to Wahab Riaz’s bowling. The total looked around 30 runs light and it should have been easy work for the experienced Pakistan batting line up.
The Pakistani batting inning started well with comeback men Shehzad and Kamran looking impressive. Shehzad was eventually dismissed, which followed a slight wobble in the run chase. At one point Pakistan was 49-3 until Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik combined to put on 46 to put the visitors back in control.
Pakistan eventually got over the line with 6 wickets in hand to start the tour off on a positive note.
Ahmed Shehzad – 6/10
Shehzad on his comeback made his presence felt through a wonderful direct hit throw on the boundary. His batting was decent. He hit a tremendous pull shot, which made everybody, stand up and applaud, but was then dismissed the following ball. His issue is his lack of strike rotation, and it was prevalent once again during this short innings where he scored 13 off 13, including two fours.
Kamran Akmal – 6/10
At the top of the order, Kamran looked impressive before throwing his wicket away. As a senior batsman, he has to take more responsibility and finish such chases off. It was a very poor shot he played considering the circumstances, and he didn’t weigh up his options well. In addition to this, he also dropped a catch in the field and did the odd misfiled. He will have to learn quickly.
Babar Azam – 7/10
After a slight wobble in the run chase, the youngest Pakistani batsman in Babar Azam provided a calm stabilising hand. He assessed the situation well and played according to the situation. The only issue was he threw his wicket away at the wrong time, and it’s an issue creeping up into his game of late. He has to learn the art of finishing games.
Mohammad Hafeez – 2/10
It was an all-round poor game for the ‘professor’ who scored 5 off 12, and went for 8 in his solitary over. He looked out of sorts with the bad, continuing on from his poor form in the PSL.
Shoaib Malik – 9/10
On a difficult pitch, the ex-captain played an extremely important innings. He looked in complete command whilst he was out there, and once again went on to finish the game. His ability to build an innings is second to none.
Sarfaraz Ahmed – 7/10
The t20 captain of Pakistan didn’t have much of a say with the bat, but he captained superbly once again. The only fault I saw was he didn’t bowl out Imad Wasim.
Imad Wasim – 7.5/10
Yet again Imad proved to be economical with the new ball. His top run of form continues, and batsmen can’t seem to pick his arm ball.
Shadab Khan – 10/10
It was a dream debut for the leg-spinner. He impressed one and all during the PSL, and he did the same in his first international game. Off his four overs, he managed to bowl 17 dot balls which was the key in ensuring Pakistan restrict the West Indies to a low total.
Sohail Tanvir – 7/10
Tanvir picked up a wicket with the final ball of the innings. He bowled a brilliant over first up, and got the ball to wobble around a bit. At the death he used his cutters well to restrict the batsmen in the final over.
Wahab Riaz – 3.5/10
The left-armer was Pakistan’s most expensive bowler on the day. Brathwaite took a liking to his bowling, and it’s a constant theme with Wahab. He tends to go for a lot of runs, and inconsistency is a massive issue with him.
Hasan Ali – 6/10
Once again Hassan’s cutters proved to be influential. The right-armer is a thinking bowler and he comes across as someone with a strong cricketing mind. After being hit away for a boundary, he came back the next delivery with a cutter, which took the batsman’s wicket.
Shadab stars as Pakistan go 1-0 up.
Shadab stars as Pakistan go 1-0 up.
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