PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC — Saturday’s convincing victory proved only a false dawn as West Indies quickly returned to their unpleasant old habits, plunging to a seven-wicket defeat to Pakistan here yesterday, to concede the four-match series 3-1.
Chasing what would have been a series-tying victory at Queen’s Park Oval, West Indies struggled from the outset when they were restricted to a modest 124 for eight off their 20 overs.
Opener Chadwick Walton top-scored with 40 from 31 deliveries while captain Carlos Brathwaite chipped in with an unbeaten 37 off 24 balls down the order.
New ball seamer Hasan Ali was brilliant, snaring two for 12 from his four overs to clinch Man-of-the-Match honours while 18-year-old leg-spinner Shadab Khan once again played a key role, taking two for 16, to be adjudged Man-of-the-Series.
In reply, Pakistan were propelled by opener Ahmed Shezad who lashed 53 from 45 balls, as they marched to their target with an over to spare.
The consistent Babar Azam chimed in with 38 from 36 balls, while rookie seamer Kesrick Williams finished with two for 26 to be the best bowler for West Indies.
Wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton looks on as Babar Azam clears the ropes during his knock of 38 on Sunday. (Photo courtesy WICB Media)
The disappointing series defeat was the second straight one for the reigning T20 World champions, following their 3-0 whitewash at the hands of Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last September.
Hoping to captalise on Saturday’s win which hauled them back into the series following losses in their opening two games, West Indies started strongly with Walton and Evin Lewis (7) posting 27 off 17 balls for the first wicket.
The left-handed Lewis, who top-scored with 91 on Saturday, looked to be extending that form when he swatted Ali over the ropes at long off in the day’s second over but perished in the next over when he picked out Ali at square leg with left-arm spinner Imad Wasim.
Walton, who slammed two fours and four sixes, put on a further 25 for the second wicket with Marlon Samuels before he too departed, caught off Shadab at long on in the ninth over by Shoaib Malik who had earlier put down the Jamaican on 18.
Walton’s dismissal triggered a now familiar middle order slide as West Indies lost a flurry of wickets — six falling for 31 runs in the space of 43 deliveries — as Ali and Shadab wrecked the innings.
Tottering on 83 for seven in the 16th over, West Indies were rescued by Brathwaite’s career-best knock which included two fours and two sixes.
More importantly, he put on an important 38 for the eighth wicket with Sunil Narine (9) which helped West Indies past the 100-run mark.
On 121 for eight at the start of the final over, West Indies’ hopes of a competitive total were scuppered by the excellent Ali who tied down Brathwaite and Samuel Badree and conceded just three runs.
Shezad then got Pakistan away safely in their run chase, anchoring two key partnerships up front to erase any lingering Windies hopes of a victory.
The right-hander punched six fours and a six, putting on 40 for the first wicket with Kamran Akmal (20) and 70 for the second wicket with Babar.
Shezad startedly slowly but picked up with two back-to-back boundaries off seamer Jason Holder in the sixth over, and paced his innings nicely to raise his sixth T20I half-century with a cover-driven four off Williams in the 16th over.
Akmal fell in the seventh over, tapping off-spinner Samuels to Williams at mid-wicket but Babar helped steady the innings, stroking a four and a six while surviving a chance on 30 in the 14th over off leg-spinner Badree.
He and Shezad fell in the space of seven balls — in successive overs from Williams — to leave Pakistan on 115 for three in the 18th over but by that time, the result had been virtually decided.