DUBAI: Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim took a career best five for 14 to help Pakistan defeat world Twenty20 champions West Indies by nine wickets in the first match in Dubai on Friday.
Wasim’s spin assault routed the West Indies for a low score of 115 in 19.5 overs which Pakistan surp
assed in 14.2 overs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Dwayne Bravo hit a gritty half-century to avoid a total disaster, adding a new world record Twenty20 stand of 66 runs for the ninth wicket with Jerome Taylor who made 21.
Pakistan had lost opener Sharjeel Khan for 22 in the fourth over but Babar Azam (55 not out) and Khalid Latif (34 not out) ensured the target was chased down comfortably.
Babar hit two consecutive fou
rs to bring up the victory, hitting two sixes and six boundaries overall in his 37-ball knock.
“I bowl wicket to wicket and this brought me wickets,” said Wasim who was declared man of the match. “I try to give my hundred percent every time.”
West Indian skipper Carlos Brathwaite blamed his batsmen.
“We didn’t have a good start, so we need to change things quickly because there are back to back matches,” said Brathwaite.
Earlier, Bravo scored a 54-ball 55 for his fourth half-century and lifted the world champions from a precarious 48-8 in 11.3 overs before being bowled off the penultimate ball.
Wasim made his career milestone in his four destructive overs – the third best figures for Pakistan in all Twenty20 cricket – after Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bowl on a slow turner at Dubai stadium.
Bravo smashed paceman Wahab Riaz for a six to reach his half-century and led the recovery from a poor start which saw the West Indies struggling at 46-5 in the first ten overs, in danger of falling for under a 100 total.
West Indies had lost opener Evin Lewis to Wasim off the fifth ball of the innings for one, holing out at deep mid-wicket off a lofted sweep.
Wasim then chipped in with wickets of Andre Fletcher (two) and Marlon Samuels (four) in the third over to leave the world champions tottering at 15 for three.
West Indies lost Johnson Charles (seven) and debutant Nicholas Pooran (five) in the next two overs make it 22 for five.
Bravo and Kieron Pollard (nine) took the score to 47 before Wasim struck twice to improve his previous best of four for 11 he took against Zimbabwe at Harare last year.
Bravo found Taylor as an able ally – the only two to cross the double figures – bettering the previous record of 63 for the ninth wicket between Saeed Ajmal and Sohail Tanvir against Sri Lanka at the same venue three years ago.
Taylor and Bravo fell in the final over by paceman Tanvir who finished with 2-26.
The victory gave Pakistan’s new T20 captain Sarfraz Ahmed two in two after taking over in his team’s nine wicket win over England at Manchester earlier this month.
The second match will also be played in Dubai on Saturday while the third is in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Both teams will also play three one-day internationals and as many Tests.