Sammy rues extra Powerplay runs
Darren Sammy, the West Indies T20 captain, admitted that the failure of his bowlers to contain Pakistan's batsmen during the Powerplay overs was a major factor in his side's two-wicket loss to Pakistan in the first T20I.
"We gave away too many runs in the Powerplay," Sammy said. "We still have to learn how to do it. I believed in [Shannon] Gabriel's extra pace, and thought he could get Afridi out. He did get him out, but a bit too late. We batted like champions, but this time our bowlers didn't back up our batsmen."
Shannon Gabriel, Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine, who bowled the mandatory Powerplay overs for West Indies, conceded 61 runs in the first six overs. Although West Indies managed to dismiss three batsmen, the start was enough to give Pakistan some momentum in their chase. Gabriel gave 25 runs in his first two overs and took the wicket of Nasir Jamshed. He was expensive in his second spell, too, conceding 19 runs in two overs, but managed to dismiss Hammad Azam in the 15th over and Shahid Afridi in the penultimate over, with Pakistan six runs short of the target.
Pakistan's reply was largely guided by Shahid Afridi, who scored 46 off 27 balls, and debutantes Umar Amin and Zulfiqar Babar also put up impressive performances. Amin steadied the innings after the loss of early wickets with a 34-ball 47, while Babar picked up the wickets of Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Bravo, before scoring 13 nerveless runs to take Pakistan to victory off the last ball. Afridi, who won the Man-of-the-Match award, and Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez were effusive in their praise for Amin and Babar.
"I should give my award to Zulfiqar Babar: he bowled well, fielded well, batted well. And Umar Amin too," Afridi said after the match.
"It's a great effort by the players," Hafeez said. "I was really happy to see their desire to win. I am really happy with the contribution of the two debutants, and then Shahid Afridi. It was a tough chase, but the positive intent was there."