Tue | Sep 28, 2021

Pooran power not enough

West Indies fall to Pakistan in the second T20

Published:Sunday | August 1, 2021 | 1:35 AMLennox Aldred - Sunday Gleaner Writer

DESPITE A blistering half-century from wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran, the West Indies left it a little too late and succumbed to Pakistan by seven runs in the second T20 International cricket match in Guyana yesterday.

The left-handed vice-captain bludgeoned a career-best unbeaten 62 from 33 deliveries to get the West Indies up to 150 for four. However, they fell a few runs short in the run chase after Pakistan first posted 157 for eight.

Pooran came to the crease with the hosts needing to step up the run rate, which was standing at just over 10 runs per over after the Windies were stifled in the early going and in trouble at 70 for three in the 12th over.

After Evin Lewis was forced to retire hurt with a side strain after making 35, Pooran shifted the team’s gear and blasted four fours and six sixes to leave the West Indies needing 20 runs to win off the last over.

Pooran and captain Kieron Pollard, with 13, had shared in a 64-run fifth-wicket partnership. However, Shaheen Afridi conceded just 12 runs in the final over while picking up the wicket of Pollard to end any hopes of a breathtaking West Indies win.

The miserly Player of the Match, Mohammad Hafeez, conceded just six runs in his four overs while picking up a wicket. There was also a wicket each for Afridi, Hasan Ali and Mohammad Wasim, as the disciplined Pakistan attack ensured their team defended the 157 on a slow Providence pitch and go one up in the series reduced to three matches, following Wednesday’s rained-out fixture.

RAMPANT START

Earlier, Jason Holder bagged a career best four wickets for 26 runs to help peg back the Pakistanis, who were threatening to put up a massive total after getting a rampant start from their openers.

The visitors raced to 46 without loss in 4.4 overs, before Holder claimed the first of his four wickets by removing Sharjeel Khan for 20.

A 67-run second-wicket stand between Mohammad Rizwan, 47, and captain Babar Azam ensured the Pakistanis were in good stead heading into the final overs. However, Holder removed Azam for 51, Ali for nought and Sohaib Maqsood for five, to restrict the visitors – who lost six wickets for 23 runs towards the death, following a rain break.

Dwayne Bravo was also his usual economical self, bagging two wickets for 24 runs in his four overs.

Losing captain Pollard lamented another missed opportunity with the bat, which soaked up a whopping 47 dot balls in the run chase.

“Those Hafeez four overs for six runs, and you look back at that and say that we could have knocked a few singles here and there. Having said that, the guys really fought through, and yes, we came out on the losing end. But the fight we kept throughout ... that was impressive.”

The teams will lock horns again today in game three at the same venue, starting at 10 a.m. Jamaica time.

lennox.aldred@gleanerjm.com