Thanks to their series-clinching win in the second match of the series, Pakistan are now on the verge of clean sweeping their second straight T20I series. They had clean-swept Bangladesh, too, last month.
The Green Shirts were, however, made to work harder than usual in the slim nine-run win in the game last night.
After their captain Babar Azam astonishingly failed for the fifth match in a row, the Pakistani ship was wobbling at 111-5 in the 15th over. But then a strong finish courtesy of Iftikhar Ahmed (32 off 19) and Shadab Khan (28 off 12) got them to 172, which was always going to be a tough ask for their visitors.
Shadab was instrumental with the ball, too. He did not pick up a wicket but his choke job on Windies batters at a time when Brandon King was leading the charge proved valuable. It’s a little unfair than that of the five bowlers used by Pakistan, only he was not among the wickets.
With the series in the bag, it means we can finally see the likes of Usman Qadir, Khushdil Shah, and Mohammad Hasnain get a look in.
The Calypso Kings showed some life in the second T20I, even if they didn’t win it. Opener Brandon King, in particular, stood out, contributing 67 off 43 and at one point giving a genuine scare to their hosts.
At the halfway mark, the Windies were 71-2, requiring 102 off the final 10, which wasn’t the most gargantuan task. However, the tourists lost way in the second half of their innings and began to lose wickets at regular intervals, just as they had in the series opener.
Romario Shepherd also found some moral boosting runs, which will be doing his confidence a world of good for the rest of the tour.
One glimmer of hope for the Windies is that they are most likely to face an understrength Pakistan side in the series finale.