Sun | Oct 24, 2021

WI-Pakistan T20s bowl off today

Published:Wednesday | July 28, 2021 | 12:09 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer

The West Indies and Pakistan will get a final chance to fine-tune their preparations ahead of the ICC Men’s Twenty20 (T20) World Cup later this year. The teams meet in the first of four T20 International matches starting at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, today at 9 a.m. Jamaica time.

Both teams have contrasting results coming into today’s contest, with the West Indies handsomely beating Australia 4-1 while Pakistan were edged 2-1 by hosts England recently.

The home side is, however, coming off a 2-1 series loss in the One-Day Internationals against Australia. However, head coach Phil Simmons said the return of experienced players Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell, Chris Gayle, and the format change, should see them return to winning.

This will be the last time Simmons will have the group together as a team before a pre-world cup camp, and the coach says both himself and Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq will be looking to build towards October and November before the global tournament.

“We have four games against one of the tougher teams in world cricket, and for us no matter the format, we always have good competitive cricket against Pakistan,” Simmons said. “We are looking forward to seeing where we are at in terms of a gelling point of view, and if we gel well, we are a hard team to beat.”

The Windies will have to be on their game if they are to topple the Babar Azam-led Pakistan side, who defeated the West Indies 3-1 the last time the teams met in 2017 in a four-match T20 series.

T20 Victories by 3-1 margins seem to be a thing for Pakistan, as their most recent series win in April came via that margin against South Africa, who beat the West Indies 3-2 in the last series in Grenada.

For Ul-Haq, a series win will have to be earned against a proficient West Indies side who still carry the tag as world champions.

“The West Indies are a very good team, keeping in mind the shorter format, as they are world champions,” he said. “The way they play against Australia shows they are a force in T20 cricket as they have a lot of experienced players. Everybody knows they have ability and power and we are aware of that, and we have to play top-quality cricket if we want to do well against them.”