Thanks to the washed out opening T20I and their win in the second game, Pakistan can clinch the series today when they clash with the West Indies in the penultimate match of what was supposed to be a five-match series but now comprises only four games due to Covid.
Pakistan had troubled the Windies in the incomplete series opener and they did the same in the second T20I, troubling their host largely with their spin.
Mohammad Hafeez was unplayable this time. He had given away 12 runs in his sole over in the opening match of the series but in the second one he gave up just six runs in all four of his overs combined. He even bowled a maiden over – something that’s almost unheard of in T20 cricket these days.
The performance solidified and validated the widely held notion that the Windies cannot handle quality, suffocating spin.
With the bat, Babar Azam must have felt that his side was a little short despite it being a difficult wicket to bat on. That’s because they had gotten a brilliant start and were 112-1 at one point in the 15th over. From that, to settle for just 157-8 was a tad abysmal. Nonetheless, it proved enough and the Men in Green are on the cusp of a series win.
West Indies once against fell to their kryptonite, losing the second T20I to Pakistan by seven runs and going 1-0 down in the series. They were unimpressive with the ball at the start of the match and even though they staged a late comeback, the score had surpassed the 150-mark, which was always going to be difficult to get on a difficult Providence wicket.
In the run chase, they lost their first wicket for naught on the second ball of the innings and never recovered from that early setback.
Had it not been for Nicholas Pooran’s unbeaten 62, the Windies would have lost by a wide margin than the seven runs that eventually proved the difference.
If the Calypso Kings are to save the series, their star-studded batting has to click and has to find a way past their Asian opponents’ quality spin bowling.