Windies, Pakistan at mercy of weather as T20I series reaches its finale


The series was of significant importance for both teams in their preparations ahead of the T20 World Cup but so far rain has ruled the headlines, ditching all the promises for the series.

With two of three games washed out and one game slashed before the series began, Pakistan come into the final match against West Indies 1-0 ahead.

Pakistan’s run-scoring has revolved around Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam.

They have rejigged their line-up to break the two up, playing Sharjeel Khan as an opener, but the washouts mean they haven’t gathered enough evidence to vindicate the tweak.

The middle-order conundrum is deeper than ever with Mohammad Hafeez’s silent bat, misfiring Sohaib Maqsood and inexperienced Azam Khan out with an injury.

For a while now, Hafeez has been in the side mainly because of his batting with his bowling being used on an as-and-when-needed basis.

However, his four-over spell – at an economy of 1.50 – in the only completed game, earned him the Player-of-the-Match award and has been a big positive for Pakistan.

More of that in the final T20I will give Pakistan wider options for the World Cup to be played in the UAE, where pitches are more conducive to spin.

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West Indies, under Kieron Pollard, were hoping to know most of their first-choice picks by the end of this series but have not learnt much either.

Despite restricting Pakistan to 157 in the second T20I, their dangerous batting order failed to display the firepower they are synonymous with. Only Nicholas Pooran made any impression, scoring an unbeaten 62 runs off 33 balls.

On Tuesday, Pakistan will be eyeing an away series win, and while winning remains paramount, what they would seek is batters apart from Rizwan and Azam to raise their hands.

Before the series, Azam had promised to check the bench strength. In that sense, this game gives both sides yet another opportunity to finetune their respective team combinations.—Agencies

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