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Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam help Pakistan complete series whitewash

CricketMohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam help Pakistan complete series whitewash
Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam help Pakistan complete series whitewash. Pic/ICC
Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam help Pakistan complete series whitewash. Pic/ICC

Karach, December 17: Pakistan mounted a brilliant chase of 208 in the third and final T20I against the West Indies in Karachi to complete a clean sweep against their opponents.

In spite of the news of the ODI Super League leg of the tour being postponed due to a number of COVID cases, the teams played out a thrilling final T20I in Karachi, with the hosts reaching the lofty target with seven balls to spare.

Pakistan put West Indies in to bat first after winning the toss. Up 2-0 in the series, the hosts decided to rest Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, with Mohammad Hasnain and Shahnawaz Dahani replacing them. West Indies drafted Darren Bravo and debutant Gudakesh Motie into the XI for Shai Hope and Akeal Hosein, both of whom were out of contention after testing positive for COVID-19.

West Indies got off to flying start, courtesy of Brandon King set the tone for the Powerplay with two boundaries in the first over. He then smashed five boundaries in five consecutive balls that he faced as the Windies raced off to their best start in the series so far.

King sent the ball to the roof of the National Stadium in Karachi off the penultimate delivery of the fielding restrictions but fell off the last ball. Trying to guide a ball that wasn’t short enough to third, King had his off stump uprooted by Mohammad Wasim.

Shamarh Brooks too teed off in the ninth over, whacking three sixes in an over off Shadab Khan but holed out in the deep in the very next over one run short of his half-century.

Skipper Nicholas Pooran tonked two sixes after the drinks to signal his intent. He kept dealing in boundaries and soon got to his fifty in just 30 balls. Pooran continued the assault on Pakistan bowlers, smashing a six and a four off Wasim before he was caught at long-on for 64.

Pakistan kept a lid on the scoring in the last two overs, giving away just 13 runs to limit West Indies to 207/3 in their full quota.

In reply, openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam would get the hosts off to a perfect start. On a beauty of a batting pitch and with short boundaries, they took the Windies bowlers apart to keep track of the run chase. By the end of the Powerplay, Pakistan’s score stood at 60/0 with the West Indies bowlers looking largely ineffective.

The pair would embark on a massive 158-run stand, getting Pakistan closer to the target. Both would bring up their half-centuries and looked all set for a big score.

The first breakthrough for the Windies would come in the form of Babar Azam as Odeon Smith would get his prized scalp. Nonetheless, it was another classy knock of 79 from the Pakistan skipper.

Rizwan was the next one to perish on 87 but Pakistan were extremely close to mounting an exceptional chase. Fakhar Zaman too would walk back for 12 but Asif Ali’s cameo of 21 off just 7 deliveries would ensure that the hosts got home with 1.1 overs left in the bank.

With the victory, Pakistan completed a 3-0 whitewash in the series.

Courtesy: ICC

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