Pakistan beat West Indies by 7 wickets in their first warm-up match at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Monday. Pakistan captain Babar Azam was in sublime touch as he scored 50 off 41 balls to give his team a strong foundation. Left-handed batter Fakhar Zaman stayed unbeaten on 46 off 24 balls to guide the team home in the company of the veteran Shoaib Malik. Earlier, West Indies captain Kieron Pollard’s decision to bat first on winning the toss didn’t work out as his team managed to post 130/7 in their 20 overs. Pollard scored 23 off 10 balls while Shimron Hetmyer top-scored with a knock of 28. For Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf picked up two wickets each. Pakistan play their first match of the tournament against India on October 24, while West Indies kick-off their campaign a day earlier against England. West Indies are the defending champions, having won the global title in 2016. They are the only team to win the T20 World Cup twice. Pakistan were the champions in 2009.
We are set for Pakistan's reply! The West Indian players make their way out to the middle. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan walk out to bat for Pakistan. Ravi Rampaul will start with the ball.
… THE RUN CHASE …
Now the target is not a big one and Pakistan will back themselves to chase it down especially when you can use all your batters. Windies, on the other hand, need to bowl well if they want to defend this. If they do manage to do so, it is going to be a big confidence booster for them and if Pakistan do not chase it down, it could well be morale deflating. Join us for the second essay in a bit.
Pakistan can be really pleased with how they bowled. 6 bowlers got to roll their arms over and when you have restricted the opposition to below 140, most of them would have had done a good job. However, they will still not be pleased with the last over by Haris Rauf. We have seen him go for a few lately at the death and it was the same case here. Overall though, they will be quite pleased.
20 from the last over and that would give West Indies some much-needed momentum. This has been an interesting game so far and Pakistan would be quite happy with their show. Quite a strange batting performance from the Windies. They have treated this game like a practice match and that isn’t wrong, to be honest. All of the top-order batters took their time, they probably wanted to acclimatize to the conditions here. None of the top 4 struck at a strike rate of over 100 and none of them went onto bat long once they got their eye in. Pooran and Hetmyer did provide a little bit of impetus and Pollard managed 20 runs in the last over but despite that, the Windies are well short of a par total.
OUT! BOWLED! Haris Rauf gets his man on the last ball of the innings. A slower ball, on a length, outside off. Pollard looks to heave it across the line but he gets an inside edge onto his off pole. West Indies finish with 130/7.
FOUR! Pollard is having some fun out there! Good-length ball, on middle. Pollard hoicks it towards deep mid-wicket to make it five boundaries in a row!
FOUR! Make it four in a row! Not where Pollard intended though! Length ball, around middle and leg. Kieron Pollard looks to flick but it takes the top edge and the ball flies over short third man. The ball races away to the fence.
FOUR! Three in a row for the big man! Length ball, outside off. Pollard smacks it to the left of the long on fielder for a boundary.
FOUR! What a shot! Full ball, around off. Kieron Pollard powers it back past the bowler for another boundary.
FOUR! Good cricket all-round! Rauf hurls a pin-point yorker, around off. Pollard squeezes it out and finds the gap between short third man and backward point for a boundary.
Yorker-length ball, around middle. Hayden Walsh digs it out to long on but Kieron Pollard does not take the single.
Short of a length, around off. Kieron Pollard taps it to point for one.
Wide! Afridi sprays it down leg. Kieron Pollard misses his nudge and the umpire calls it a wide.
Hayden Walsh walks out to bat.
OUT! TAKEN! Length ball, outside off. Shimron Hetmyer looks to go over long on but he gets deceived by the change of pace. The ball takes the inner half of the bat and goes straight to Babar Azam at long on who gulps it down.
FOUR BYES! Sloppy from Mohammad Rizwan behind the sticks. Another slower ball, shorter in length, outside off. Shimron Hetmyer misses his heave and Rizwan fails to collect the ball cleanly. The ball goes into the fine leg fence.
FOUR! Nicely done! A slower ball, fuller in length, around middle. Shimron Hetmyer drills it past the bowler for a boundary.
Back of a length, around off. Kieron Pollard taps it to point for one. West Indies bring up their 100!
Length ball, on leg. Kieron Pollard clips it to deep mid-wicket and gets off the mark with a single.