Evin Lewis took Pakistan bowlers to the cleaners during the third T20I to keep the hosts alive in the four-match series. The left-handed batsman, playing his only eighth shorter-format game at the international level, struck five 4s and nine 6s to help West Indies surmount a mediocre target of 137 within 15 overs.
Cricingif looks at the defining moments of the match.
Ahmed Shehzad was gifted with a full-toss on the first ball of the match, which he duly deposited behind the square-leg area for a four. Certainly, the delivery did not land where Samuel Badree had wanted it to. Probably, the newish lacquer made him lose the grip. But the leggie came back with a ripper to shatter Shehzad’s middle-stump on the second ball. The T20 specialist removed Imad Wasim, promoted to one-drop, two balls later with a googly, reducing Pakistan to 4 for 2.
Despite a promising 88-run stand for the third-wicket between Kamran Akmal and Babar Azam, the lower-order failed to capitalise on the platform. Shoaib Malik, Fakhar Zaman, and Sarfraz Ahmed accumulated 26 runs together – with Zaman scoring 21 of them. Their scoring rate further aggravated the situation. The trio took 33 balls, with Malik alone eating six dots. Wahab Riaz, who had blasted his way to 24 in 10 balls in the last contest, managed only one.
Brought into Pakistan side as a specialist batsman, Kamran Akmal freed his arms with a reluctant square-cut on the fourth ball of the second over that yielded him a boundary. He had been removed for a duck in the previous match and had been wandering for runs. It was not until he swept Badree for a four in the third over when he took the innings’ anchor role. He scored 48. However, his stay at the crease was curtailed to only 37 balls when he gave an easy catch to Lendl Simmons at the cow-corner off Marlon Samuels juicy full-toss. This was Akmal’s highest score at this level since September 2012. He is yet to make a T20I fifty since May 2010.
Pakistan once again made early inroads into the Windies batting line-up thanks to Fakhar Zaman’s phenomenal diving catch at the square-leg boundary. The required run-rate surged and the bowling side took the commanding position, until the start of the fourth over when Lewis’ crunchy square-drive began the recovery. After being ran out in the last two matches, the left-handed batsman thrashed Pakistan bowlers all around the park and by the end of the powerplay, he had struck two 4s and three gigantic 6s. He continued the onslaught, regardless of the bowler darting the deliveries at him. He deposited wonder boy Shadab Khan, who managed a wicket and leaked 38 runs, for a 4 and three sixes. But the peak of his innings came during the 13th over, when he hammered 22 runs off Sohail Tanvir’s bowling and he smoked three sixes and a four.
Lewis had piled up 17 runs in his last four innings – all against Pakistan – before today’s blistering knock.