West Indies v Pakistan, 2nd T20, St Vincent

Akmal, bowlers give Pakistan T20 series

The Report by Sidharth Monga

July 28, 2013

Comments: 111 | Text size: A | A

Pakistan 135 for 7 (Akmal 46*, Narine 3-26) beat West Indies 124 for 9 (Tanvir 2-20) by 11 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Umar Akmal slices one through off, West Indies v Pakistan, 2nd T20I, St Vincent, July 28, 2013
Umar Akmal's late burst gave Pakistan enough to defend © WICB Media
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Umar Akmal's 46 off 36 gave Pakistan the final surge to take them to 135, which their bowlers made look like 185 on a slow, dry and used pitch to give them the Twenty20 series to go with the ODI spoils. Pakistan threatened to leave Ahmed Shehzad's platform of 44 off 46 to waste, but Akmal did just enough - with 38 in the last four overs - for the bowlers, who were soon all over the West Indies batting.

Sohail Tanvir's extra bounce accounted for Johnson Charles and Marlon Samuels, Mohammad Hafeez got Chris Gayle for the second time in two afternoons, and before you knew West Indies were 17 for 4. A strategic promotion for Sunil Narine injected some life into the chase as he scored 28 off 16, Kieron Pollard gave them late hope with 23 off 10, but they were fighting too much quality.

After Charles edged Tanvir to Akmal, Gayle's horror home season continued as he fell to a leading edge; since his century in the first ODI of the tri-series earlier in the season, Gayle has not crossed 30 in 10 international innings, and has averaged 10.2. Samuels got a bit of a brute that kicked at him just outside off, and took the gove. Lendl Simmons soon played for a Shahid Afridi legbreak, but it didn't turn and took the middle stumps.

As Dwayne Bravo fought hard, Narine swung merrily, and enjoyed some good timing and some good luck. The two added 47 in 5.3 overs, and brought the target down 72 off 39. Pollard took time to get going, and by the time he decided everything needed to go as West Indies needed 62 in four overs. Over the next four balls, he brought out some savage hits against the 34-year-old rookie Zulfiqar Babar, losing two balls and scoring 20 runs. Babar, though, went over the wicket, and managed to get the outer edge, which still carried to deep cover. Immediately, he got rid of Bravo, who also wanted to go over the off side but found long-off.

In those two balls, the brief life in the chase had frizzled out. Not even a shambolic no-ball call - for the front foot cutting the side crease - could make any difference. In contrast, Pakistan might not have had any such spells of brilliant hitting, but they stayed around the six-an-over mark before going for the big runs in the end.

West Indies seemed to have learned their lesson from having failed to defend 152 in the first game. They didn't give Pakistan any pace to hit. When the visitors ended the Powerplay at 39 for 1, it was the last time their run rate would reach 6.5 before Akmal's hitting in the 19th over. They had to fight a controlled West Indies effort throughout.

Shehzad, who scored 44 off 46, found little support from the other end. Hafeez, opening in the absence of the dropped Nasir Jamshed, was caught on the late cut again. Umar Amin was done in trying to drive on the up. Haris Sohail swung before he got used to the pace of the pitch. Shahid Afridi hit Narine into the strong wind and in the air. Shehzad perished trying to pull Pollard, who had dug the ball in and provided no pace to go with.

At 96 for 5 in the 16th over, it seemed Pakistan would struggle to get to a defendable total, but Akmal kept them in the game. Most of his good work came in the 19th over when Bravo went round the stumps and angled the ball across Akmal with little cover on the cover boundary. He was taken for a four and a six in the 16-run over, but Narine ended his good spell with just six runs in the 20th. As it turned out, Akmal had done enough damage by then.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (July 31, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

Bowling round the wicket angling the ball across the batsman is a very good ploy to restrict run scoring because it crams the batsman and he can't free his arms. But as Rameez Raja repeatedly pointed out that while that does apply as a rule, Umer Akmal has the ability to make enough room and drive the ball to and over the boundary in the cover region.Yet Bravo kept bowling that delivery to Akmal innings after innings and that too in the death overs when Akmal was, as expected, taking risks to launch an all out attack. Those huge number of runs Bravo haemorrhaged in the final overs helped facilitate Pakistan's victories to a great extent. It is difficult to understand how and why the Windies did not spot this very significant chink at any stage throughout the series and employ a different strategy.

Posted by   on (July 30, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

well played Pakistan..congrats from Sri Lanka..Afridi is back

Posted by Shyam1981 on (July 30, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

Where is Azhar Ali. He is the best batsman in pakistan after misbah and has been making consistent scores at domestic level. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/39037.html

See his last 10 scores and this was before the champions trophy.

Shame he wasnt selected for the champions trophy and odi series vs west indies. Also he has experience of playing in uk conditions because of his first tour.

Please bring him back pak team for odis and never consider dropping him from test team.

Posted by mmeeran82 on (July 30, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

Pakistan has played good cricket in carribean. Some of the players are in good form especially Umar Akmal.

Pakistan should look for the domestic cricket & have to chose the batsmen with over 40+ Average with good Strike rate.

Mohammed Irfan, Junaid Khan is improved a lot.

Nasir Jamshed have to concentrate on his batting.

Shahid Afridi must be there in the team.

Posted by BLACK-BIRDS on (July 30, 2013, 4:11 GMT)

Pakistan Is a great team ,they can win any trophy ,series by having been unbeatten but sometimes they feel lack of unit ... congratulations ...but Sorry to say when Hafeez bowls short ones his action creats some doubts...am i right or not...?

Posted by   on (July 29, 2013, 23:38 GMT)

It was not a very great total but turned out to be good eventually.Changes were anticipated and were quite nicely done.West indies lost the match despite their brilliant efforts in both departments.Congratulations Pakistan team and have a rest of some days before going to Zimbabwe.

Posted by abdulnasir786 on (July 29, 2013, 22:01 GMT)

I am very happy to see Umar Amin, Hammad azam, Haris sohail and Asad shafiq. These youngster have the heart and courage, Pakistan should take them very serious , they are the future. Shehzad, hafeez, Zulfiqar, all the bowlers except Junaid and irfan are just a junk. Pakistan start looking for a good bowler, I know there are tons out there in Pakistan. Pak Fans who have watched Pak cricket back in 80's and 90's can sensed what I mean here. Gul is history, all we need one good bowler and we are ready for world cup.

Posted by   on (July 29, 2013, 20:06 GMT)

Good win and tour for Pakistan.

I am not sure why some are saying Hammad Azam was not good. He played well in the field. Took a couple catches and a run out. His skills in the field are good. He rotated the strike well in the first match. In the 2nd match, he got fooled by a pretty good bowler in Narine. He needs to be groomed and be given experience and that is the only way he will get better. Overall, he had a decent series and should be picked for the Zimbabwe tour.

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