ICC Men's T20 World Cup

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup: Pakistan led to victory by Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman as the West Indies struggled to 130

Sports

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup: In their first ICC Men’s T20 World Cup warm-up game, Pakistan thrashed Kieron Pollard’s West Indies by seven wickets with 27 balls remaining. Shaheen Shah Afridi, Imad Wasim, Haris Rauf, and Hasan Ali took wickets while limiting the run-scoring. Still, Babar Azam’s beautiful half-century and Fakhar Zaman’s unbeaten 24-ball 46 put the West Indies out of their misery and sealed the victory for Pakistan.

Toss winner West Indies chose to bat first, but a well-organized Pakistani bowling assault quickly ended their innings. In addition to Andre Fletcher, Lendl Simmons and Chris Gayle struggled, hitting only 38 runs in 53 deliveries as the Windies slipped far behind the required rate. Pakistan’s dominance of the West Indies innings lasted until the penultimate over when Pollard scored five consecutive fours at Rauf’s expense to send the visitors to 130 all out.

As good as Babar and Mohammad Rizwan are at chasing, they got Pakistan off to a good start when they got rid of the Pakistan wicketkeeper with Ravi Rampaul’s quick bowling. It brought in Fakhar, who carried out reckless abandon, attacking everyone in sight, including Hayden Walsh. Babar played a characteristically disciplined and successful inning at the other end, scoring 50 off 41 balls to break the chase’s back.

When Walsh and Mohammad Hafeez were both bowled off successive deliveries, it gave the West indies some relief, but the tension had all but dissipated by that point. Zaman smacked Walsh for another six, giving Pakistan the perfect start and giving the reigning champions much to think about going forward.