A scintillating 50-run partnership for the seventh-wicket between Jason Mohammad and Ashley Nurse helped West Indies chase a 300-plus target for the first time in 32 matches during the first of the three-match ODI series against Pakistan.
Cricingif looks at the moments that defined the first ODI.
Drafted into an ODI playing XI after a 15-month-long hiatus, Ahmed Shehzad had a lucky escape early on in his snail-paced 67. After opting to bowl, Windies could have derailed Pakistan’s innings in the third over had Ashley Nurse grabbed a regulation catch off Alzarri Joseph. Fielding in the second slip, Nurse dropped Shehzad when the right-handed batted at two runs in 10 balls. To rub salt on the wounds, Shehzad smacked two back-to-back fours on the next two deliveries. He went on to bat for 83 balls, hitting six 4s. He brought up his fifty – first since July 2015 – off an edge in the 23rd over.
Ahmed Shehzad and Kamran Akmal put up an 85-run stand in 15 overs before Akmal (47 off 48) threw his wicket away on a looser ball from Jason Holder. Their stand went down as Pakistan’s best opening partnership in ODIs since July 2015, when Shehzad and Azhar Ali scored 93 against Sri Lanka.
Despite a decent start, Pakistan managed only 308 for 5 in their 50 overs. Their middle-order especially Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez, who went on to score 88 from 92 balls, will be scrutinised by their batting analysts for failing to find a boundary during the middle part of the innings. Pakistan did not score a boundary from 25.3 till 36.6 overs. It was Hafeez who hit boundaries on the either end of the span.
Today was the sixth instance when Kamran Akmal was taking the field without his keeping gloves in international cricket. For the most of the tour, Sarfraz Ahmed had been working methods to conceal the 35-year-old in the field after he denied Shadab Khan of a 4-fer in the first T20I by dropping a fairly easy catch at backward-point. Akmal executed his first barehanded catch when Kieron Powell chipped Wahab Riaz’s slower-one into his hands at mid-off.
The pace-bowler was warned twice by the on-field umpires for transgressing into the red-zone. The first warning came after the end of his first over in which he largely struggled to adjust his line and length. The second was at the start of his second spell.
West Indies needed 153 in 17 overs when Jason Mohammad faced his first ball of the match. By then, they had been completely written off. But Jason’s majestic timing combined with his presence of mind took Windies over the line with an over spare. The 30-year-old struck 14 boundaries – 11 fours and three 6s - in his unbeaten 58-ball 91. The onslaught begun from the 39th over: when Jason smoked Imad Wasim for two back-to-back boundaries. The right-handed batsman followed up with two 4s and a six in the next over off Hasan Ali.
All Jason needed was a batsman who could bring him back on the strike. But Nurse, playing his eighth ODI, took a step further. Pakistan’s plan was simple: to keep Jason at the non-striker’s end for as long as possible. Little they knew about Nurse’s ability to muscle the ball to the fence. Out of the 15 balls that Nurse faced, he hit boundaries on six of them. He finished off the game by squirting Wahab to the off-side boundary for two on the last ball of the penultimate over.