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WI v Pak, preview

Pakistan eye series victory against West Indies

WI v PAK, third T20I, preview

Pakistan took a 1-0 series lead by a small margin in the second game. After the washed-out first T20I, the series is now effectively a three-match clash and the visitors are only one win away.

Overview

West Indies v Pakistan, third T20I
Providence Stadium, Providence
1 August, 11:00 Local

Pakistan’s top order yet again proved to be the pillars over which the visitors’ success depended upon but it was the bowling that tacitly pulled it back for Pakistan in the second game.

However, the graph of improvement of the lower middle-order batting line-up for Pakistan has plateaued and could be an area of concern before the ICC Men's T20 World Cup later this year. Mohammad Hafeez, who leads the middle-order, has averaged 11.77 in 2021 in 12 appearances while Fakhar Zaman averages 20.33. 

On the other hand, West Indies uncharacteristically struggled with changing the gears and chasing down a below-par total. Although, the Windies bowling has seen a lot of positives that exploded the visitors while conceding only 23 and picking up six wickets at the death.

Remember the last time

In the second clash, Pakistan got off to a flier with Mohammad Rizwan’s 46 and Babar Azam’s 51. But as the rain interrupted the play and the match resumed, Pakistan crumbled to 157/8 in 20 overs after they looked on track to reach 180 at one stage.

West Indies batters struggled against the spin with Hafeez leading the way. Hafeez returned with the match-winning economical figures of 4-1-6-1 while Shadab Khan conceded only 22 in his four overs that helped Pakistan restrict the hosts to seven runs short of the target.

What they said

Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan player): “As a bowler, this was my first Player of the Match, so, I’ll remember it forever. But were 10-15 runs short according to our original plan. Everybody knows the calibre of West Indies batter and the big-hitters they have but we backed ourselves. The morale is high but it is the batting that we have to improve and we are capable of that.”

Kieron Pollard (West Indies captain): “The guys really fought through and yes we came out on the losing end but the fight we kept through, that was impressive. Will have a lot of intense discussions and try to put your foot forward each and every time. It's all about improvement. For us, someone has to win and someone has to lose and yes we ended up on the losing end today but, all hope is not lost.”

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