Saif Ullah Khan
The first T20I between West Indies and Pakistan ended in a no-result after heavy showers denied Pakistan an opportunity to chase the hosts’ 85 at Barbados’ Kensington Oval.
The contest was reduced to nine overs per innings as intermittent rain delayed the start of the match after Babar Azam elected to bowl after calling the toss right.
Pakistan handed debut to 19-year-old right-arm pacer Mohammad Wasim Jnr.
The nine-over-long play was studded by Pakistan bowlers, whose excellent use of variations saw West Indies manage 85 runs for the loss of five wickets.
Hasan Ali was the standout bowler for the visitors. His two overs brought Pakistan a wicket in each over at the cost of only 11 runs. The right-arm quick provided Pakistan their first breakthrough on his first ball of the match – the first of the third over – as his off-cutter accounted for Evin Lewis.
This was Hasan’s 50th wicket in 38 T20Is as he became only the ninth bowler from his country in men’s cricket to achieve the feat.
He returned in the penultimate over to remove Shimron Hetmyer with a mean short-pitched slower delivery, which the left-handed batsman failed to scoop and ended up lobbing it in the air for Mohammad Rizwan to complete a catch.
West Indies had suffered a blow in the second over with Lendl Simmons walking off after Wasim Jnr’s bouncer hit him on the neck in an attempt to pull a menacing bouncer. The debutant had his moment on the first ball of the seventh over when he bagged the prized wicket of Chris Gayle, who mistimed a slower delivery into the hands of Hasan, stationed at long-on.
On six occasions the ball sailed over the fence and two of those came in the fourth over. Nicholas Pooran smashed Mohammad Hafeez for two gigantic sixes, but the Pakistan veteran all-rounder had the last laugh as he dismissed the West Indies wicketkeeper-batsman on the last ball.
Usman Qadir was the other bowler to pick up a wicket as Andre Russel, in his attempt to smash him for another six over cover, ended up getting caught and bowled. The all-rounder asked the on-field umpire for a review and the replays showed that the ball had kissed Russel’s blade on its way to Rizwan’s gloves.
Kieron Pollard played breathed air into his side’s innings with an unbeaten 22 that he plundered in nine balls, hitting two sixes and a four.
The second T20I will be played on Saturday.
Match ends in no-result