West Indies v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Providence April 10, 2017

West Indies look to end 26-year hoodoo


Match facts

April 11, 2017
Start time 09:30 local (13:30 GMT)

Evin Lewis has been frustratingly inconsistent either side of his 51-ball 91 in the third T20I © AFP

Big Picture

Pakistan ended a run of four consecutive ODI defeats with a thumping win in the second ODI against the West Indies. In doing so, they ensured that whatever the outcome of the deciding contest, they will remain in the eighth and final automatic qualification place for the 2019 World Cup at the end of the series. However, this alone is unlikely to satisfy their legion of fans, many of whom had been expecting the series against a significantly weakened West Indies side to be a cakewalk. Instead, it has become a bit of a dogfight, and anything less than a win for Pakistan to protect a proud 26-year unbeaten series record against their hosts would be seen as a failure.

West Indies will bemoan a failure to keep wickets in hand to give themselves a chance of chasing down Pakistan in the second ODI. Much of that was down to a tactically odd - poor, frankly - decision to take the attack to Pakistan's bowlers right from the start, and continue to do so in spite of losing wickets in clumps. As such, they were well out of the game before their innings reached the halfway mark, and meant that Ashley Nurse and Jason Holder's rearguards weren't going to do any more than restore respectability in defeat. The good news for them is they have one more chance to seal a series win, and because of that, the decider can safely be billed as the biggest limited-overs home game they will play this season.

Form guide

West Indies LWLLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan WLLLL

In the spotlight

Evin Lewis has been riding the wave of his 51-ball 91 in the third T20I, but he has endured a frustrating lack of consistency around that knock. He scored 29 runs in three ODIs against England earlier this season, and, aside from that 91, has only managed one international score above 15 this year - 47 in the first ODI against Pakistan. The 25-year old's talent is obvious to anyone who remembers his demolition of the Indian bowling attack in Florida last year, where a 49-ball century set his side up for a one-run win. He could be due another explosive innings, and with the series on the line, the third ODI wouldn't be a bad time to get going.

Sarfraz Ahmed got a fair bit of attention during the second ODI, despite a fairly quiet game both with bat and behind the gloves. What caught people's eyes (or more accurately, ears) were his bellowed instructions to fielders almost every single ball, and his hands-on approach with the bowlers, particularly Shadab Khan. Despite Pakistan looking set for a comfortable win, the skipper looked unhappy for most of the West Indies' innings, and much of the body language appeared, at least to an outsider, to be damagingly negative. The third match is a pressure game, and there will be plenty of focus on the newly appointed ODI captain to get the best out of his side, and whether he changes his approach in order to do that. It hasn't helped that the 29-year old has had a quiet period with the bat that has carried on from the PSL, and though it has slipped under the radar so far, it is unlikely to remain that way for too much longer.

Junaid Khan bowled better than his figures suggested in the second ODI, and should keep his place for the decider © Getty Images

Team news

Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul has been added to the squad as cover for fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who was seen clutching his hamstring during the second ODI and left the field after finishing his ten overs. Gabriel is scheduled to undergo treatment and will have a fitness test on the morning of the match. The hosts, however, do have a like-for-like replacement in Miguel Cummins, who may make his first appearance this series.

West Indies (possible): 1 Evin Lewis, 2 Chadwick Walton, 3 Kieran Powell, 4 Shai Hope (wk), 5 Jason Mohammad, 6 Jonathan Carter, 7 Jason Holder (capt), 8 Ashley Nurse, 9 Devendra Bishoo, 10 Alzarri Joseph, 11 Miguel Cummins/Shannon Gabriel

Pakistan may decide to stick with the side that levelled the series, especially since there were no glaringly poor performances. Junaid Khan, who came in for Wahab, bowled better than his figures suggested, and is expected to keep his place.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Ahmed Shehzad, 2 Kamran Akmal, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfraz Ahmed (capt & wk), 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Shadab Khan, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Hasan Ali, 11 Junaid Khan

Pitch and conditions

All bets are off with the Providence Stadium's new pitch, which yielded two starkly different contests in just three days. However, there are showers expected for parts of the afternoon, and a curtailed contest is possible.

Stats and trivia

  • Pakistan's record in bilateral series deciders since 2003 has been quite poor. In 14 series-deciding final matches, they have lost 12 and won just 2 - both against Zimbabwe.
  • Babar Azam has the most runs (1306) after 25 ODIs by any batsman. The previous highest was by Jonathan Trott, who scored 1280 runs in the same period.

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • michael on April 11, 2017, 18:02 GMT

    @metman. Why hold it against Gabriel because he has no 5 fors in ODIs? Very few bowlers have achieved this because they are limited to 10 overs as distinct from tests where their quota of overs is unlimited. Two tests ago he should have taken a 6 wicket haul in Pakistan's first innings but a catch was dropped by - you should have guessed it - Hope when he mistimed the catch and the ball hit his wrist. Fast bowlers go all out all the time to achieve that pace and are therefore more susceptible to injury. Roach, Bishop and many others could attest to that. As I predicted before the series WI would not sweep Pakistan because of the team selected - partly by chasing away players (like Darren Bravo), partly by not selecting others (like Kesrick whose ER is good for the short format) and partly by perpetuating with a keeper that is opponent friendly (missed stumping 2nd ODI let the partnership add another 94 runs unbroken instead of exposing Pakistan;s lower order.

  • vinay on April 11, 2017, 17:39 GMT

    windies decline started since 90s. no wonder any team can hold such a record against them.

  • Mohammad Zamin on April 11, 2017, 13:56 GMT

    Holding that record over West Indies is a big deal, shows how Pakistan in the 90's was the strongest ODI side in the history of the game.

  • Michael on April 11, 2017, 13:46 GMT

    @PADDYRASTA2......I use capitals to STRESS MY POINTS and what you use is of no interest to me.For you too would say one thing and contradict yourself the next line. ....and if the bowlers don't take the wickets an extra batsman would be welcome since NONE of the present day bowlers are of the caliber of a Marshall,Garner or Ambrose . ....and with your logic "if Pakistan scores 300 the WI would again struggle" ....and who would STRUGGLE ? NOT THE BATSMEN ? this IS an example of you contradict yourself.

  • haroon7516776 on April 11, 2017, 13:29 GMT

    no changes again for pakistan! why bring 15 man squad if you are going to use the same 11 for 3 matches

  •   sharjeel younus on April 11, 2017, 13:29 GMT

    I think faheem ashraf could be given a chance in place of either kamran or shahzad .in every series new players are added to squad but they had to sit on bench and playing x1 almost remains same despite shameful performance.

  • tanzee6849770 on April 11, 2017, 13:23 GMT

    Sarfaraz was given useless batsman like Akmal, Shahzad who just play for their own sake, still his record is 6 win out of 7. He bats at 6 or 7 but has impressive record.

  • SANDEEP7282 on April 11, 2017, 13:16 GMT

    I don't know why so many ppl are against bat Hafeez. He is one of your better ODI players. Pl. stop speculating these unknown names, that are expected to come in change the face of the Pakistan cricket. World has moved on, be practical

  • jack on April 11, 2017, 13:10 GMT

    If WI is able to put up a score of 270 plus it is game over for Pak. They are very bad chasers.

  • Patrick on April 11, 2017, 13:04 GMT

    Hope the WI surprise us all and win the last match. We really need a win here. However It is alot to ask as the batting at the top is so inexperienced and without young Bravo, Blackwood should have played. Again a miss by the selectors. Keep the the hope up!

  • No featured comments at the moment.