The young leg spin sensation Shadab Khan’s international career got off to a picture-perfect start in Barbados, as he returned dream figures of 3 for 7 to ensure Pakistan beat West Indies in the first T20 international of the four-match series, their fifth consecutive shorter-format win.
Chasing a modest 112 for victory, Pakistan were reduced to 49 for 3 at one stage with K Akmal (22) and Shehzad (13) and Hafeez (5) back in the hut, but a late rescue effort led by veteran Shoaib Malik steered Pakistan to a comfortable six-wicket win in the end.
Malik top-scored with 38 off 29 balls, including three fours and one maximum, while Babar Azam scored a-run-a-ball 30.
Earlier, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, who now also holds a perfect captaincy record with five wins out of five matches, opted to bowl first after having won the toss. West Indies lost Ervine Lewis early in the innings courtesy a direct, rocket-arm throw from Ahmed Shehzad. Nearly three overs later, Marlon Samuels was accounted by Imad Wasim to make things worse for Windies.
Shadab Khan announced himself in grand style in his debut match, picking up wickets of Walton and Simmons in his very first over to bamboozle West Indies. Later in his second over, the leg-spinner lured Narine into playing a lofted shot which was safely held by Imad Wasim on the boundary line, registering his third of the day.
West Indies could not really recover from 49 for 6 and barely managed 111 in their 20 overs, which proved to be an easy chase in the end.
Pakistan take a 1-0 lead in the four-match T20 series, with the second match scheduled for March 20 at Queen’s Park Oval.
Pakistan tour of West Indies T20I Schedule:
· March 26 1st T20 Kensington Oval — Pak won by 6 wickets
· March 30 2nd T20 Queen’s Park Oval
· April 1 3rd T20 Queen’s Park Oval
· April 2 4th T20 Queen’s Park Oval
“Credit goes to the bowlers. The young Shadab did really well. Mentally we were at the top. But we aren’t relaxing. Shadab bowled well in the PSL. I asked him to bowl same lines. No easing up.” Sarfraz Ahmed — captain Pakistan said.
“The collapse in the middle [was responsible for this loss]. The debutant [Shadab Khan] came out and did well. It was always difficult to come back after the collapse. We did well in the end to get to 111. We don’t have too much of a gap. It might be a good thing or a bad thing. It was a little weight off my shoulder as I got runs, but would like the team to win.” Carlos Brathwaite — captain West Indies said