Shadab gives Pakistan ODI series sweep against West Indies

MUILTAN, Jun 13: Shadab Khan’s brilliant all-round performance led Pakistan to a 53-run win over West Indies in the third one-day international and a 3-0 series sweep.

Shadab’s career-best 86 off 78 balls revived Pakistan to 269-9 after the hosts chose to bat first and their top order stumbled against the surprise off-spin of Nicholas Pooran, who finished with 4-48 in 10 overs on Sunday.

West Indies’ own struggle against spin continued as its middle order again capitulated against Shadab (4-62) and Mohammad Nawaz (2-56). The visitors were bowled out for 216 in 37.2 overs, losing by 53 runs under the DLS method. A dust storm in Multan suspended play for an hour during Pakistan’s innings and the match was reduced to 48 overs a side.

No. 7 batter Akeal Hosein smashed six sixes and two fours to top-score for West Indies with 60 off 37 balls before he was undone by Shadab’s sharp delivery and stumped.

“We executed our plans and got the desired results,” Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said.

“We are trying different combinations with bat and ball. We will try to keep continuity and also test our bench strength.”

Thanks to Pooran, Pakistan had slipped to 117-5 halfway through its innings despite a good start. Imam-ul-Haq (62), who hit his seventh-straight ODI half century, added 85 runs for the first wicket with Fakhar Zaman (35).

But Pooran, who had bowled just three balls in previous ODIs, stunned Pakistan with his bounce and sharp spin.

Pooran had Zaman clean bowled in his third over and leg-spinner Hayden Walsh followed it up by successfully going for a leg-before-wicket referral against Azam, who was out for a rare single-digit score of 1.

Pooran then enjoyed the quick wickets of Imam, Mohammad Haris (0) and Mohammad Rizwan (11) before Shadab revived the innings with a gritty 84-run stand with Khushdil Shah, who made 34.

Shadab looked set for his first ODI hundred before he was clean bowled by Jayden Seales off a perfect yorker in the last over.

Pakistan’s Shahnawaz Dahani, who made his ODI debut after Shaheen Shah Afridi was rested for the final game, didn’t have to wait long to get his first wicket when West Indies started the chase. Kyle Mayers (5) was brilliantly caught low at point by Imam in Dahani’s second over as West Indies also struggled against the pace of Mohammad Wasim (1-21).

The introduction of spin unsettled the middle-order batters with Pooran holing out in the deep for 11 while going for a big shot against left-arm spinner Nawaz.

Hosein gave West Indies a glimmer of hope when he added 49 runs for the eighth wicket with Romario Shepherd (16) before Shadab struck in successive overs and Hasan Ali (2-29) claimed the last wicket of Shepherd.

“The last two games were disappointing for us,” Pooran said, referring to West Indies’ 120-run loss on Friday in the second ODI.

“We played poorly with the bat. We did well as a team and going forward that will be the template.”

The series win lifted Pakistan to No. 4 on the points table — immediately above West Indies — in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League. The top eight teams will directly qualify for next year’s World Cup in India.

The ODI series was postponed last year when West Indies flew back home after a COVID-19 outbreak in the visitors’ camp during the preceding T20 series in Pakistan. (AP)