Pakistan best West Indies again to wrap T20 series

Pakistan best West Indies again to wrap T20 series

Dubai - A few more like these and Pakistan could very well join their illustrious Test team at the top.

By James Jose

Published: Sat 24 Sep 2016, 11:46 PM

Last updated: Sun 25 Sep 2016, 1:50 AM

Could this be the start of something big for Pakistan in T20s?
They were the ones to master this format in its early years, going on to win the world title in 2009. But somewhere along the way, they suffered a blip and are now ranked seventh in the format.
But now, armed with a new captain in Sarfraz Ahmed and some exciting young guns, and on the evidence of what transpired at the 'Ring of Fire' that is the Dubai International Cricket Stadium over two nights, Pakistan may be on to something here.
A few more like these and Pakistan could very well join their illustrious Test team at the top.
Pakistan have made the world champions West Indies look mediocre out here in the Dubai desert. And they have a pretty impressive report card to show for it - two wins on the bounce and the series in the bag, with a game to spare.
After besting the West Indians by nine wickets on Friday night, Pakistan were right on the gun again on Saturday night. And they didn't flinch one bit. It wasn't quite the demolition of Friday but Pakistan will happily take the 16-run victory.
And Sarfraz Ahmed is one happy captain at the moment, with three wins from three and his first series win in his first full series at the helm.
 These two wins add to that one-off T20 International victory against England. Pakistan now have the bragging rights of having bested both the world champions and the runners-up back-to-back.
Asked to take the first dig, Pakistan racked up 160 with Sarfraz Ahmed walking the talk with an unbeaten 46 from 32 balls with five boundaries.
Opener Khalid Latif had earlier made 40 from 36 balls with three boundaries and a six, while old warhorse Shoaib Malik scored a crucial 37 from 28 balls, also with three boundaries and a six.
It was a sorry looking batting card for the West Indies as they wound up at 144 for 9. Pacers Sohail Tanvir and Hasan Ali finished with three wickets apiece.
The series now heads to Abu Dhabi for what is a dead rubber at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Tuesday night.  
Earlier, West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite had called right at the toss and went by the same line of thinking of his opposite number Sarfraz.
With the same surface being used and with the wear and tear in mind, Brathwaite fancied a go at the Pakistan batsmen with the No.1 bowler in the world in the format, leg spinner Samuel Badree.
There was that initial reward after opener Sharjeel Khan, in trying to attack, succumbed to the leg spinner, chopping one onto his stumps, off Badree's second over.
But that was all there was to be as Pakistan's innings didn't mirror that of the West Indies on Friday night, as Brathwaite would have hoped.
The other opener Khalid Latif and Babar Azam joined forces to string together 54 runs for the second wicket.
But Azam, fresh from his maiden T20 International half-century, didn't get the chance to replicate that after he fell to Brathwaite, caught by Kieron Pollard for 19.
Latif, who had struck some fine boundaries was looking in good touch but was run out while trying to go for a double.
Pakistan looked a wee bit shaky at 85 for three in 12 overs after Latif left but the old warhorse Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz played some enterprising cricket to take them to a competitive total.
Sarfraz negated the off-spin of Sunil Narine by regular employing the sweep, so far as from off-stump. And the ploy worked with Narine going for nine runs an over.
The duo rotated the strike as well as came up with some boundaries when the situation demanded. The pair almost went hand in hand in terms of runs scored and balls faced until Shoaib Malik's innings was brought to an end by Dwayne Bravo, with the batsman being gobbled up by Pollard.
It also ended a crucial 69-run stand between the two for the fourth wicket. Malik's 37 came from 28 balls and had three boundaries and a six.

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