West Indies failed once again and will have to bounce back well in the second match in a couple of day's time    AFP
West Indies failed once again and will have to bounce back well in the second match in a couple of day’s time AFP

West Indies poor tour of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues as they were thrashed by Pakistan in the first One-Day International (ODI) by 124 runs at Sharjah. Mohammad Nawaz was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers, finishing with four wickets to his name. It was Imad Wasim, who stole the spotlight in the T20 International (T20I) series, but Nawaz has surely taken the spotlight this time, with his exceptional bowling. He was supported extremely well by the other bowlers as well. Pakistan had set West Indies a target of 287 in 49 overs. The match was reduced to 49 overs per side after the floodlights went off in the middle of the Pakistan innings.

Babar Azam scored his maiden ton to help Pakistan put a good score on the board. Sharjeel Khan had initially gotten Pakistan off t a good start with a fifty, after losing his skipper Azhar Ali off the first delivery of the match. There were useful contributions from Sarfraz Ahmed, Imad and Nawaz as well. For the West Indies, it was Carlos Brathwaite, who was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 3 for 54 in his 10 overs. Spinner Sulieman Benn too did well. He picked up just the one wicket, but he managed to keep the runs down.

West Indies never got going. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals and failed t have any sort of momentum or partnership in their innings. Marlon Samuels toiled hard, but his 46 eventually went in vain as he did not get any sort of support whatsoever from the other end. West Indies were never on par with the required run rate and fell behind at the early stages of the innings. Mohammad Aamer started well for Pakistan, removing opener Johnson Charles in the eighth over. Kraigg Brathwaite on his ODI debut failed to get going and it was Hasan Ali, who put him out of his misery. Full Updates: Pakistan vs West Indies, 1st ODI

Wickets started falling thick and fast after that. The spinners dominated throughout and never gave West Indies a chance to breathe. The spinners took charge and kept picking wickets one after the other. Hasan Ali too bowled exceptionally well. He was not particularly good in the T20I series, but has bounced back well in this match. Sunil Narine did provide some late entertainment, but it was too little too late by then, but a few of his shots showed how some of the top-order batsmen should have played.

During Pakistan’s innings, few of the floodlight went off and the ground was partially engulfed in darkness as Imad and Nawaz remained not-out on 21 and 5 respectively.

Post the start of play again, Imad gave his wicket away to Carlos for a 24-ball 24. Imad misses a fuller ball in an attempt to go over the top. New man Wahab gave his wicket way to a freaky run towards the leg-side. Nawaz did provide a bit of firework before he gave his wicket for the sake of the team making crucial 19-runs.

The floodlights remained off for a good hour or so which meant West Indies were given a revised total of 287 runs to win from 49-overs. Pakistan lost all their momentum and as a result could not go past the 300-run mark.For West Indies Carlos was the star bowler picking up wickets at the very end of the innings. Carlos figures read 3 for 54 in his quota of 10 overs.

West Indies had earlier won the toss and elected to bowl first. They decided to hand an ODI debut to Kraigg Brathwaite. Wahab Riaz too found a place in the team after not making it to the Pakistan team after conceding over 100 runs in an ODI in England. Pakistan had the advantage going into the match as they completed a 3-0 whitewash of the West Indies in the T20I series.

Pakistan have certainly taken a step in the right direction as they have to win as many games as possible to ensure that they get an automatic qualification for the ICC World Cup 2019. They have to be at the top 8 by September 30, 2017 to do so, It is a similar case with West Indies. They are ranked eighth at the moment, but they too will have to string a few victories together to hold a chance.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 284 for 9 in 49 overs (Babar Azam 120 , Sharjeel Khan 54 ; Carlos Brathwaite 3 for 54) beat West Indies 175 in 38.4 overs (Marlon Samuels 46, Sunil Narine 23; Hasan Ali 3 for 14, Mohammad Nawaz 4 for 42) by 111 runs

Man of the match: Babar Azam

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