The four-match T20I series is going to be pivotal for both West Indies and Pakistan heading into the marquee T20 event later this year.
West Indies vs Pakistan, first T20I
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
28 July, 11:00 AM local
Coming off a hard-fought white-ball series against Australia, West Indies do not have time to put their feet up as they take on Pakistan in the first T20I. Having beaten the Aussies 4-1 in the T20I series, the Windies will want to carry forward the momentum going into the Pakistan series.
Led by the hard-hitting Kieron Pollard, the West Indies team have been a force to reckon with in the shortest format of the game and have been touted as one of the favourites to lift the ICC T20 World Cup later this year. A four-match series against the fourth-ranked T20I side will be the perfect opportunity for Windies to test themselves ahead of the mega event.
Pakistan meanwhile come into this series on the back of a 2-1 loss against England. The visitors have problems of their own heading into the T20 World Cup. Apart from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, the batting line-up has yet to fire collectively. The bowlers too haven't played up to the high standards they have set, giving away more than 200 runs twice in the three-match series against England.
Captain Azam will be looking for all-round improvement from his side when they face West Indies in the first T20I at Bridgetown.
Remember the last time
Pakistan hosted West Indies at home in April 2018 and completed a 3-0 whitewash.
The hosts registered a 143-run win in the first T20I, their biggest win by runs, after they dismissed Windies for just 60, defending 203.
Pakistan once again put up a score in excess of 200 in the second game, with Babar Azam remaining unbeaten just three runs short of a century. The visitors put up a slightly better batting performance but ultimately got bundled out for 123, falling short by 82 runs.
Pakistan completed the whitewash by chasing down a target of 154 with 19 balls to spare with Azam once again starring with a fifty.
However, the side that toured Pakistan three years ago is drastically different to the one that will play four-match series starting tomorrow.
What they said
Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan bowler): "West Indies are considered to be a specialist T20 side. Their players play T20 cricket around the world and are familiar with most of the bowlers in the circuit. It can get a little tough to bowl at them, but having solid plans will help us."